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University Degree: Social Psychology

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  1. Genetic and environmental influence in human development.…. Discuss.

    They will look at the effect of such experiences on the way the individual perceives themselves and the world around them and will ultimately try to find the reasons behind the crime. This is exactly the same as when a sufferer of schizophrenia has bouts of serious depression or violence, or a fear of spiders is analysed. It is strongly believed that the heart of these problems lie in events that occurred during childhood development and that to help the sufferer deal with the trauma will lead to some form of recovery or even an eradication of the symptoms.

    • Word count: 3496
  2. Explore a link between aggressive behaviour, and the consumption of alcohol.

    However as time went on and more information was shared about their aggressive outbursts I suspected that a lot of these outbursts happened under the influence of alcohol. Then six weeks into the project two of the young men arrived intoxicated. They were not in a suitable state to participate in the programme and so I asked them to leave and return the following week. These two young men had always been polite and respectful in previous sessions but in this instance they became verbally aggressive and came and stood within inches of me.

    • Word count: 3336
  3. How effective is the learning perspective in explaining aggressive behavior?

    Since the Behaviorist approach is limited to only what is observable, these two aspects have many weaknesses and limitations. In between the two aspects, there are many suggestions of how aggression can be learned, but then again many ways remain unaccounted for. Instrumental aggression is aggressive behavior which is maintained because it is positively reinforced (Glassman, 303). This idea is the same theory of positive reinforcement, the only difference being specifically under these circumstances is that this response is labeled as 'aggressive'. A very simple example of this is fraud. Fraud is when an individual or a company takes someone else's money which does not belong to them, the instant outcome of this is that the individual or company

    • Word count: 624
  4. Why is aggression more widespread in the males of most mammalian species?

    Research was conducted on a colony of rats. By introducing new male and female rats to an established colony, the resulting behaviour could be observed. As expected, the males in the group reacted strongly to the introduced rats whereas the females did not. After the experiment, norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin were measured in various regions of the brains by high performance liquid chromatography. Serotonin is one of several substances known to affect mood and aggression. The decreased serotonin in the male brain was associated with increases in aggressive behaviour.

    • Word count: 1482
  5. "Describe and evaluate two socialPsychological theories of aggression."

    Support for this idea come from a study by Barker et al (1941). Here young children became frustrated when was shown a room full of attractive toys which were kept out of reach. After a lengthy period of time, the children were finally allowed to play with the toys and it was here that they behaved extremely destructive, tending to smash, throw and stand on the toys rather than play happily now that they finally have the toys. This was the case when compared to a non-frustrated group and therefore being an important distinction between frustration and deprivation.

    • Word count: 1474
  6. Despite its numerous critics, labelling theory has many supporters. Outline the main principles of this theoretical approach, discuss relevant supporting evidence and consider its major limitations.

    These dramatic negative labellings become turning points in that individual's identity; in future he or she is able "to employ his or her deviant behaviour or a role based upon it as a means of defence, attack, or adjustment to the problems created the subsequent societal reaction." (Lemert 1951) Having been processed by the justice system and labelled a delinquent, or harassed by the police as a gang member, the individual takes on that label as a major aspect of his or her identity.

    • Word count: 3140
  7. Aggression and violence effect society in a variety of ways.

    On December 14, 1995 the leaders of Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia signed the Dayton peace accords, officially ending the wars in Bosnia and Croatia after about 250,000 people had died and more than 3 million others became refugees. What is the cause of such unleashed aggression towards society? How can we explain such acts of aggression and violence? Warfare is an area of psychology on which much research is focused. Psychologists have tried to discover its underlying mechanisms. Several theories have emerged in the past few decades that attempt to explain different areas of aggression.

    • Word count: 2928
  8. Environmental and biological factors play a role in the manifestation of aggressive behaviour. Discuss the interaction of these variables in the display of hostility.

    Aggression can be defined as behaviour that can be seen as destructive or hostile.2 It is an intended behaviour aimed at hurting another person. Aggression could also be described as heterogeneous. That is, it can be in self-defence when in fear of one's own safety, or it can be malicious, vengeful and predatory. There are many reasons, biological and otherwise, which are responsible for the onset of aggressive behaviour. But there are many different types of aggression and they all have different biological signals and clinical applications.

    • Word count: 1981
  9. Critically consider research into the effects of two environmental stressors on aggressive behaviour.

    as this was a laboratory experiment it would not represent real life situations and would therefore lack ecological validity. Baron also did another study with Ransberger (1978) who also found that incidences of violence could lead to increased levels of aggression. Their data was on incidents of group violence which was based on a naturalistic study which has ecological validity and confirms that temperature can act as a stressor leading to an aggressive response, however if temperature increases too high then aggression decreases again.

    • Word count: 600
  10. The relationship between aggressive play in footballmatches and the response of the viewers.

    Tenenbaum (1997) further pointed out that spectator in sports such as football supporters also can display both hostile and instrumental aggression. A crowd may hurl objects and abuse at players. If they do so with the aim of giving their own team an advantage, this constitutes instrumental aggression. If however, It is done in anger and with the intention of harming opposing players, the behavior would be classed as hostile aggression. Aggression in sport can be explained in three approaches.

    • Word count: 3455
  11. Aggression in Gill (1966).

    not break the agreed rules of the sport An example of aggression in sport is where David Beckham kicked an Argentinean in the world cup after he received a bad tackle. An example of assertion in sport would be a forceful tackle in rugby as it is within the rules of the game. Channelled aggression is aggression that is used to achieve a goal it is not accompanied by anger. Hostile aggression is behaviour that is intended to harm someone.

    • Word count: 785
  12. Factors affecting aggression on a sporting performance.

    aggressor and victim separated by bars or team-mates. Types of aggression (Baron 1977). 1) Hostile Aggression: Goal - injure the other human being Intent - make them suffer Reinforcement - pain and suffering caused This type of aggression is always accompanied by an angry aggressor. E.g. Baseball pitcher --- high inside fast ball at batter who had angered him clearly attempting to injure the batter- goal is to cause suffering, result of contest irrelevant therefore goal is to harm and not to win.

    • Word count: 1122
  13. Discuss research into the effects of the media on pro and anti social behaviour.

    They became increasingly helpful if they role played pro social events from the programme. Another pro social study was by Sprafkin, Liebert and Poulos in 1975. They studied 6 year olds. Some kids watched an episode of "Lassie", which involved a heroic scene were a boy rescued a dog. The others saw an episode of the "Brady Bunch" (comedy) After watching the Television the children were given an option. They could help some distressed puppies but they would have to stop playing the game that they were playing were you could win "a big prize".

    • Word count: 623
  14. What is the evidence that aggression and violence are biologically determined?

    (Marzuk, 1996). Furthermore, several excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters are implicated including; Serotonin (5-HT), dopamine and Norepinephrine (NE). Similarly, hormones have been suggested to play a role (Marzuk, 1996). In addition, genetic links have been suggested for Impulsive violence/Aggression (IA) (Brunner, Nelen, Breakefield and Ropers van Oost, 1993) with mutation of the monoamine oxidise A (MAO A) gene. This essay will principally concentrate on neurological influences, briefly outlining social, genetic, and hormonal contributors to aggression and violence. The essay will conclude by summarising, the illustrated factors believed to be involved in the mediation of aggression and violence, lastly, it will propose that a larger interconnective approach between biological determinants could be explored.

    • Word count: 2826
  15. To Investigate How Aggression Affects Performance in Rugby

    In other words "Gamesmanship", which can be said to be cheating within the laws or bending them. An example of this would be going into a tackle and hitting your opponent with your shoulder first then wrapping your arms around them. Assertiveness is not entirely a form of aggression but a use of legitimate strategy and force to achieve a prescribed goal within the laws of rugby. An example of this would be an assertive tackle in the beginning of the game in order to intimidate the opponent.

    • Word count: 984
  16. Comparing and contrasting the Social learning theory of aggression with the Frustration-Aggression theory of aggression.

    Children who were exposed to the aggressive models had shown significantly higher levels of aggression then the control group. However this experiment has been criticized for not having a completely standardized procedure, for lacking ecological validity because it has been performed in a controlled laboratory environment, and for ethical reasons for invoking aggression into the young participants. Theoretically, the experiment had only proven the theory of modeling, and imitation of observed behavior, which could be however only a result of induced demanded characteristics, where participants thought they were expected to imitate the model they saw, the implications of reinforcement upon persistence of aggressive behavior were not considered.

    • Word count: 1748
  17. In your view, which theory of deviance provides the best explanation of Jason’s deviance and juvenile delinquency in HK?

    Cohen, from a functionalist perspective showed that deviant behaviour often has an important part to play in maintaining stable social system and allow the society to function effectively. For example, he analysed the function of prostitution and suggested that use of prostitutes was vital in maintaining stable family life. Functionalists also imply the social learning theory to support their arguments because it implies that people become deviants through deviant socialization. Durkheim's ideas is also supported by Merton's theory on social structure and anomie where people respond to their position in one of five different ways including Conformists, innovators, ritualists, retreatists and rebellions.

    • Word count: 1350
  18. Stigma Theories, Explain the exclusion of stigmatised Person’s from normal social interaction

    By looking at Erving Goffman's example of effects of institutions we can begin to see how stigmatised person's can be excluded from normal social interactions. Interactionists such as Goffman view institutions such as prisons, mental hospitals and reform schools as links in confirming the deviant nature of the individual. He examined the treatment of mental patients in institutions and found that the aims of cure and rehabilitation were not highly successful. His main focus was on mortification and how inmates are subjected to acts, which in a sense take away their identity.

    • Word count: 1882
  19. Critically consider the impact of 3 environmental factors on anti-social behaviour (24marks).

    The participants in the non angered condition were mostly unaffected by the noise. Suggesting that noise can arouse anti-social behaviour when people are provoked and have no control over the stressor (in this case noise). Geen (1969) found that noise increases aggressiveness. Geen conducted a study into levels of aggression after watching films. In his study there were 3 variables. 1. Participants watched either an aggressive film or a non aggressive film. 2. Participants were then given the opportunity to shock someone in another room.

    • Word count: 1188
  20. In what ways is interpersonal conflict in computer mediated communication different from interpersonal conflict in the real world?

    Sigmund Freud developed the idea of aggression as instinctive: a servant of the 'pleasure principle'. Aggression was seen as a reaction to frustration experienced in the pursuit of pleasure. Freud later developed a Dual Instinct Theory where, alongside the life instinct Eros, he conceived a second, death instinct, Thantos. It is assumed that aggressive behaviour diverts the destructive energy and tension associated with Thantos. Thus, Freud claimed that the displacement of negative energy of the Thantos onto others is the basis of aggression (See Ref. 1, Alexandra K. Smith). This led to the idea of catharsis.

    • Word count: 2323
  21. Critically consider research into the affects of environmental stressors on aggressive behaviour.

    Baron and Ransberger collected data on incidents of group violence in USA and corresponding weather reports to extend the inverted 'U' hypothesis. They found that around 48 degrees Celsius, violence was at its highest. Any hotter and it declined. In explanation of the link between heat and aggression, Moghaddam suggests that temperature increases are unlikely to cause increases in aggression, instead it is more likely to be social contact. The statistics gathered from the American homicide statistics support this as it shows there are peaks in homicide rates for late summer and December.

    • Word count: 1172
  22. Debate to what extent psychology meets the criterion for a science?

    This method consists of observing, for instance, phenomena, constructing a hypothesis accordingly; creating an experiment in order to test the hypothesis; analysing the data and consequently reaching a conclusion(Gauch, 2012). It is vital to understand that these are basic guidelines and can change according to the different fields of science, which can operate differently one from another. However, just like any science psychology involves and requires a scientific methodology for its investigation. Psychological research involves similar steps, starting with the identification of a problem from old research or perhaps observations; develop hypothesis related to the problem; design a study; and analyse and evaluate the results (Coolican, 2014).

    • Word count: 1729
  23. Explain Milgram's concept of the agentic state and discuss whether it is a valid explanation for obedience. What other explanations for obedience have been put forward and what evidence support these?

    The autonomous state is where an individual assumes responsibility for their own actions and the consequences of their behaviour. However the agentic state is where an individual believes themselves to be acting only as an agent of another. Individuals renounce themselves of all personal responsibility while acting under this state, sometimes even believing their actions to be morally wrong, yet giving up their free will unconsciously making the decision to yield to explicit authoritative orders. While doing so they place any sense of responsibility on the authority figure. A majority of men were willing to electrocute another man up to maximum given voltage (450v)

    • Word count: 1704

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