AQA A2 Aggression
Mind Map by, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by about 5 years ago


Mind Map on AQA A2 Aggression, created by on 01/21/2015.

Resource summary

AQA A2 Aggression
1 Social Psychological explanations
1.1 Social Learning Theory (SLT)
1.1.1 This states that behaviour is a result of learning by observation Children observe a role model, and imitate their behaviour. They also learn whether the role model is rewarded or punished for their behaviour by observation, this is known as vicarious reinforcement. If others are rewarded, then they are more likely to imitate the behaviour. Characterisitics and status of the role model will affect the likelihood of imitation Conditions necessary for effective modeling: Attention: The person must pay attention to the model Retention: the observer must be able to remember the behaviour that has been observed Motor Reproduction: The ability to replicate the behaviour Motivation: The learner must want to demonstrate the behaviour
1.1.2 SLT does not occur exclusively; likely interacts with other conditioning and underlying biological factors
1.1.3 Bandura: (1961)- Bobo Doll: 3-5 year old children, split into 2 conditions. Group 1 observed an adult behaving aggressively towards the doll, in condition 2, the children watched the adult behaving passively. Children exposed to aggressive behaviour reproduced the behaviour they saw. Follow-Up Study: Children who saw the adult being rewarded for their aggressive behaviour were even more likely to imitate & children who saw the adult being punished were less likely to behave aggressive (evidence for vicarious learning) EVALUATION: Ethical issues, low ecological validity and potential demand characterstics
1.1.4 EVALUATION OF THE THEORY: it explains cultural differences in aggression, vicarious learning can explain aggression from a learning perspective without the need for direct reinforcement, explains individual differences, but does not necessarily apply to adults
1.1.5 IDAs: ethical issues, nurture side of the nature-nurture debate, cultural bias (ethnocentrism of Bobo Doll experiment)
1.2 Deindividuation
1.2.1 Not all aggressive behaviour is between individuals; when in a large anonymous group people often behave more aggressively than they normally would.
1.2.2 Process: presence of a large group, anonymity, increased social arousal, decreased social-awareness and self-evaluation, diffused responsibility, guilt and accountability
1.2.3 Diener et al (1976): Trick or Treat Asked women to give out sweets to trick or treaters. Half the children were asked for names and addresses, and the other half were anonymous. The woman has to take a call, so the children are instructed to take only one sweet. Anonymous children in a group were much more likely to take more sweets, supporting idea of deindividuation Evaluation: High ecological validity, sample involved children (generalizability and ethics?). aggression was not operationalised
1.2.4 Watson: Looked at tribal groups and war paint. They gathered data from the HRAF database and looked at 23 societies together with information about whether they changed their appearance before going to war. Findings: 12/13 tribal groups changed their appearance and this correlated with instances of torturing, and killing their opponents. 10 societies were less brutal towards their victim; 7/10 did not change their appearance. Evaluation: accounts for many different cultures, and therefore excludes cultural bias, there was a large sample and so the results are representative.
1.2.5 Zimbardo (1969) studied groups of undergraduate women who had to give electric shocks to another student to aid learning. Half wore lab coats and had their faces hidden (anonymous), and the other group had to wear normal clothes and introduce themselves. Anonymous group shocked the learner for twice as long as the identifiable group. Evaluation: ethical issues, limited sample, ecological validity? Gender bias.
2 Evolutionary Explanations
2.1 Group Display
2.2 Individual Aggression
3 Biological Explanations
3.1 Neural and Hormonal
3.1.1 Hormones Organic chemicals that regulate and control bodily functions Testosterone: An androgen hormone that stimulates development of male secondary sexual characteristics. It is produced mainly in the testes, but also in the ovaries and adrenal cortex. High levels are linked to aggression. Dabbs et al (1995)- measured testosterone in saliva of 692 adult male prisoners; found higher levels in rapists and violent offenders. Pope et al (2000): 20-50 yr old men, group given testosterone for 6 weeks, others given placebo. Paired with a 'participant' and told they could reduce the amount of cash received by the participant pushing the button. Told same was happening on the other side. Experimental group pushed button more. Cortisol: Produced by the adrenal medulla to calm the body after the stress response. It also inhibits the production of high levels of testosterone. McBurnett (2000): 4 yr study of boys with behavioural problems, those with low levels of cortisol had antisocial behaviour which began earlier, and had 3 times as many aggressive symptoms as the rest.
3.1.2 Neurotransmitters: chemicals that allow for the transmission of impulses across different parts of the brain. Serotonin: low levels linked with aggressive behaviour; people tend to respond more impulsively and aggressively to emotional stimuli. Mann et al (1990) administered dexfenflouromine to 35 healthy adults ( known to deplete serotonin). Participants filled in questionnaires which assessed hostility and aggression. Levels increased in males but not females. Lloyd et al (1974) found that suicide victims had low serotonin activity. Animal study: Popoya et al (1991)- domestic pets have higher levels of serotonin Dopamine: Increased levels linked to increased aggressive behaviour. It is produced in response to rewarding stimuli and it is thought that some individuals actively seek out aggressive encounters for the rewarding sensation. Buitelaar (2003); dopamine antagonists (which reduce dopamine activity) are used successfully in treatment of violent delinquents. Couppis & Kennedy (2008); mice reward pathway in the brain becomes engaged in response to an aggressive event and that dopamine is involved as a positive reinforcer in this pathway. Suggest that individuals will seek out aggressive encounters because they experience a rewarding sensation.
3.2 Genetics
3.2.1 One gene has been linked to aggression, known as MAOA. This gene regulates the metabolism of serotonin in the brain, and low levels of serotonin are associated with aggressive behaviour. Aggressive people have a faulty gene responsible for producing MAOA- low levels are linked to aggression. Caspi et al (2002) investigated 500 male children, with low producing MAOA gene were more likely to exhibit antisocial behaviour if they had been maltreated. This shows a gene-environment interaction. Evaluation: gender bias, large sample.
3.2.2 Use of twin studies and adoption studies
3.2.3 Twin study: Cocarro (1997); sample of 182 MZ twins and 118 DZ twins (adults). They found that 50% of individual differences in direct aggression as there was a 50% concordance rate. Evaluation; 50% social or environmental influence- environment was responsible for 70% of individual differences in verbal aggression.
3.2.4 Adoption study: Hutchings & Mednick (1973); 14000 adoptions; correlation between biological fathers and sons of convictions for criminal violence. child ran a 50% risk of acquiring a criminal conviction due to biological father by the age of 18. Evaluation: correlation not causation,
3.2.5 Young et al (2002): animal study, mice were selectively bred to knock out gene responsible for MAOA production. Mice were extremely aggressive. Evaluation: ethics, generalisability
3.3 IDA: real-world application, nature side of debate, reductionist, deterministic
Show full summary Hide full summary


Romeo and Juliet essay
AS Psychology - Research Methods
SAT Sample Essay - Failure/ Success
Ebola Virus Disease
Biological Psychology - Stress
Gurdev Manchanda
Matters of Life and Death - Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies Unit 3
GCSE AQA Biology 2 Respiration & Exercise
Lilac Potato
GoConqr Getting Started Guide
Norman McBrien
Tips for Succeeding on the Day of the Exam
Jonathan Moore
1PR101 1. test - 2. část
Nikola Truong