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

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

Extracts from this document...


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."1 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 s****l 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. ...read more.


It has also been argued that children who behaved violently towards the doll were rated as more violent generally by teachers. Aggression is often described as antisocial behaviour, but by observing adult aggressive behaviour being rewarded children may think this behaviour is acceptable and normative. Therefore it shows that social learning theory explains that is more about learning behaviour rather than being a reflection of an individual's inner state. It also explains the findings which show that children who watch violent films are more likely to behave in an aggressive way. Social learning theory can account for cultural and individual variation; it can also explain why we behave aggressively in some situations and not others. When we are rewarded or reinforced for behaving aggressively, this is related to specific situations, in other situations we may find this behaviour isn't rewarded. This is known as context dependent learning. Biological explanations of aggressive behaviour have stressed factors quite unrelated to social learning. Higher levels of the male hormone testosterone have been cited as a primary causal agent in aggressive behaviour. This casts doubt on aggression being purely a learned behaviour. There are those who believe that aggression is caused by having access to guns, being a victim of abuse at the hands of parents and peers, or by being immersed in a culture that glorifies violence and revenge. ...read more.


Aggression can be "bled off" by violent sport or other situations of controlled violence. The circular theory of aggression is well defined by the saying "violence begets violence" and simply states that aggressive actions provoke more aggressive actions which in turn cause the original perpetrator to aggress further. In conclusion, the fact that modern humans are much more aggressive than their ancestors shows that environment and upbringing definitely effect levels of human aggression. In the modern world, factors such as "influence of media, smoke, noise pollution, air pollution, abusive parenting, overcrowding, heat, and even atmospheric electricity" can lend a hand in aggravating the aggressiveness in humans. Behaviourists generally view aggression as a set of acquired behaviours and attach less emphasis on biological determinants. These scientists commonly apply the "principles of social learning theory" when addressing aggression. People tend to vary their views on nature versus nurture. They are ready to accept that it is genes that cause diseases and cancer, even obesity and homosexuality. Of course, this takes the blame off of human lifestyle. If it is written into their genes, there is nothing they can do about it. However, the public tends to favour the nurture side of the argument when it breaches sensitive topics such as aggression or intelligence. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree 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 University Degree Social Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Critically evaluate trait theories of personality.

    This results in them changing jobs, careers (EMPLOYEMENT) and boyfriends/girlfriends (RELATIONSHIPS) more often. Thirdly, introverts are expected to perform more poorly in the presence of music or any kind of external stimuli. They will take less study breaks and be more vigilant in tasks. Because they consider less information in stressful conditions then extroverts do they will come

  2. An eight-page paper discussing the cause of aggressiveness in humans - nature or nurture

    But the fact remains that a child, genes or otherwise, would not be prone to violent behavior unless he was brought up in a violent environment. Statement of Study Aggression can be useful in some cases but when it becomes violent can be destructive.

  1. Free essay

    The psychology of aggression: examining the biological, learning, emotional, and environmental factors that combine ...

    This is evidence that there is a greater tendency to be aggressive in high noise conditions. Rotten & Frey (1985) showed that reports of family disturbances rose on days when the temperature was high and the winds were low.

  2. Psychological Perspectives of Aggression and Violence: A comparison of psychodynamic and behaviouris

    Behaviourism and the psychodynamic approach provide arguments for both sides of this debate. The behaviourist approach argues that aggression is a form of learnt behaviour, with personality being the sum of all past experiences; yet the psychodynamic approach argues that aggression stems from innate drives that must, at some point, be satisfied by behavioural expression.

  1. Assess media violence in the world's media.

    It doesn't take an eighteen-certificate movie to infiltrate an otherwise peaceful living room with death and destruction. Parental supervision is lacking. While Blockbuster may occasionally err, the real error is that many parents allow their children too much independence. The absence of government regulation of children's television has made parents'

  2. Environmental and biological factors play a role in the manifestation of aggressive behaviour. Discuss ...

    and the child. There are several types of poor interaction between the parents and their child which can lead to an increased chance of aggression in the child within two years.5 Aspects such as ignoring or rejecting the child and failing to take a large interest in the interests and

  1. Explain the importance of team building, the stages in the development of team cohesion ...

    Once the rules and roles have been agreed this can empower the team to work more effectively. Fundamentally the forming stage consists of creating a framework for interaction. Storming quickly follows, as these interactions are examined in more detail. Storming is the second stage described by Tuckman where individual's goals are revealed, examined and scrutinised.

  2. With reference to psychological literature, explain the underlying processes regarding the effects of media ...

    Anderson and Dill, (2000) give the example of the Columbine High School shooting in 1999 to highlight their point on the role play by individuals characteristics when it relates to media violence. Two students after repeatedly playing the game ?doom? went on a killing rampage through their school depicting the same violence in real life.

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