Evaluate The Influence Of Nature And Nurture On The Development Of Aggression

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Evaluate The Influence Of Nature And Nurture On The Development Of Aggression

Aggression is an action.  It is intended to harm someone.  It can be a verbal attack--insults, threats, sarcasm, or attributing nasty motives to them or a physical punishment or restriction.  Researchers have tried to understand the nature of this behaviour. In doing this, there has been an ongoing argument of what its source is.

“The nature vs. nurture topic has been a continuing debate for many aspects of human behaviour, including aggression.  There have been many studies indicating that chemical relationships between serotonin, testosterone, and frontal lobe brain chemistry may play a key role in determining aggressive behaviour, while other studies have explored environmental and societal factors that have been said to control patterns in human aggression.”

Scientists have known for years that traits such as eye color and hair color are determined by specific genes encoded in each human cell.  The Nature Theory takes things a step further to say that our more abstract traits such as intelligence, personality, aggression, and sexual orientation are also encoded in an individual's DNA.  While not discounting that genetic tendencies may exist, supporters of the nurture theory believe they ultimately don't matter - that our behavioural aspects originate only from the environmental factors of our upbringing. Studies on infant and child temperament have revealed the most crucial evidence for nurture theories.

There many ways of explaining aggressive behaviour in humans. Some theories view aggression as an important part of our evolutionary heritage, others as an imbalance in hormones or neurotransmitters in the brain.  Early psychological theories of aggression explained aggressive behaviour as an automatic consequence of personal
frustration.  Social learning theories see the cause of our aggressive behaviour as arising out of our interactions with others in our social world.

Social psychologists claim that aggressive behaviour can be learnt through direct experience derived from Skinner's principles of operant reinforcement.  In other words, if a child pushes another child and as a result gets what they want then the actions is reinforced and they are more likely to do it again.  

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Albert Bandura believed that aggression is learned through a process called behaviour modelling.  He believed that individuals do not actually inherit violent tendencies, but they modelled them after three principles.  Bandura argued that individuals, especially children learn aggressive responses from observing others, either personally or through the media and environment.  He stated that many individuals believed that aggression will produce reinforcements. These reinforcements can formulate into reduction of tension, gaining financial rewards, or gaining the praise of others, or building self-esteem.   Bandura carried out an experiment to look at aggression.  The experiment created three groups of children: a ...

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