• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Social Psychological Theories of Aggression: The Big Brother Assignment

Extracts from this document...


Social Psychological Theories of Aggression: The Big Brother Assignment With increasing violence in the Big Brother House I have been asked to create a report that explains this violence occurring in the Big Brother House in terms of two or more social psychological theories. In general the violence in the big brother house is escalating and theories need to be brought to the attention of the media bosses in order to explain this aggression. The violence does not need to be stopped as the house mates are not breaking any of the Big Brother rules behaving in this manner. Violence on this show can not be viewed as a negative aspect as it increases the number of viewers. However it does need to be explained logically. One explanation could be the Social Learning Theory. In order for such learning to take place a person must observe persons behaviour and imitate this in the future. The concept of identification is also important as the individual is more likely to imitate some he/she identifies with, in this case it could be another house mate or perhaps previous contestants on the Big Brother show. For this there are three stages * The Registration Stage, where the observer must pay attention to the model. ...read more.


2. Also that the harm is caused by or explained in terms of the behaviour of other people So if the media is to blame why isn't all of society acting aggressive, and not just out housemates? The main answer is that most of the media (not including news bulletins which have around 1%) have between 37 and 80% non aggressive incidents within a typical programme, documentary or article. This then means that the Big Brother contestants that are behaving aggressively see the same percentage of aggression within the media as the non-aggressive contestants. Which leads to the next question, why are they all not behaving quite similar? Well I believe there has to be an underlying factor that changes the level of aggression shown by different people, as we are all exposed to the same amount of violence in the media. I believe that comes in the form of relative deprivation. This proposes that the cause of a conflict is the unacceptable discrepancy between what people think they have a right to expect, and what people (given current social conditions) are actually able to obtain. In the case of the Big Brother aggression the relative deprivation theory offers an explanation which is based on the contrast between groups' expected and actual access and prosperity to power. ...read more.


Berkowitz '72 claimed that frustration due to perceived relative deprivation could incite aggression. In today's society (like the Big Brother Household) relative deprivation can be felt more prominently in a modern society where there are a lot more daily items that are needed or can be take for granted e.g. alcohol or fast food. The frustration aggression hypothesis which leads on from the relative deprivation theory states that frustration always leads to aggression and aggression is always caused by frustration. This explanation can be classed as social-psychological and psychoanalytic. Dollard et al '39 proposed that the pursuit of personal goals involves the arousal of psychic energy. In the case of the Big Brother contestants personal goals would involve daily tasks and placing people up for eviction. When we attain these goals the energy is released, and when we fail or the goal is blocked (for e.g. the person put up for eviction is not evicted) then the energy becomes built-up (frustration). This must be released and so Dollard suggested that it was via aggression. This then parallels with Freud's explanation of aggression in which a person becomes aggressive from frustration and this anger is projected onto other, less powerful people or objects (scapegoat theory). The projection is a way of protecting a person's ego from self-aggression. This projected aggression in a confined area with other people that share that same space leads to arguments and (as a result) aggression within the Big Brother house. 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Social Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Social Psychology essays

  1. psychology assignment

    The study was abandoned after only six days instead of the planned fourteen. Zimbardo believes that the study demonstrated the powerful effect roles could have on people's behaviour. The participants were 'playing the role' that they thought was expected of them in particular the stereotyped view of how prison guards behave.

  2. Pro and Anti Social Behaviour

    Outline 2 or more explanations of media influences on anti-social behaviour (12 marks) b) To what extent do research studies support the view that the media are responsible for anti-social behaviour (12 marks) a) Outline and evaluate one or more studies relating to media influences on pro-social behaviour (12 marks)

  1. Outline two social psychological theories of aggression.

    This could be seen as being fair and just. The law on insanity only applies to those who are deprived of their powers of reasoning and not to those who fail to use them. This area of the law is arguable in a satisfactory state.

  2. Deindividuation theories.

    electric shocks in a, 'learning experiment', participants who had been deindividuated (those in hoods and overalls), gave shocks for twice as long as those who weren't deindividuated. Further to this, Donnerstein, Donnerstein and Evans (1972) found that white participants were more likely to give higher electric shocks to a black

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work