Social Learning Theory Of Aggression

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Aggression is something psychologists find hard to define because what one person may say is aggressive behaviour another person may think differently. Aggression has been described as “behaviour that results in injury or destruction of property” (Bandura) and Berkowitz defined it as “Behaviour that is intended to injure some-one physically or psychologically.” Both these definitions have a common ground; the “intention to harm.”(Bushman,2002)
Social psychologists argue that aggressive behaviour arises out of our interactions with others in our social world.
The Social Learning Theory (SLT) suggests that a child learns aggressive behaviour by observing others acting aggressively. They can also learn aggressive behaviour through situations
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(Phillips,1986)

The social learning theory can be used to explain cultural differences in aggression which furthermore supports this theory.
In the Kalahari desert aggression among the Kung San tribe is rare because the parents do not use any physical punishment, nor reward any aggressive behaviour. These findings suggest there is little to motivate the Kung San children to acquire aggressive behaviours providing evidence that aggression is not universal across cultures, be explained as learnt than innate. (Doug Ford, 2013).

Psychological evidence has found that children can learn ‘successful sequences’ and once these scripts are established they are difficult to change. (Huesmann,1986, 1998)
He proposed that when children observe violence in the media, they learn aggressive scripts. Scripts define situations and guide behaviour: The person first selects a script to represent the situation and then assumes a role in the script. Once a script has been learned, it may be retrieved at some later time and used as a guide for
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The evolutionary approach fails to explain why people show aggression towards their loved ones. (domestic violence, HBV, child abuse.)
Hormones and Genes are another approach viewed as providing evidence that aggression is innate.
Theorists argue that an increase in testosterone during puberty is linked to an increase in aggression and is mainly linked to males.
Research has found adolescent boys and adult men with high testosterone levels to be prone to delinquency, hard drug use and aggressive responses to provocation (Archer,1991;Dabbs &Morris, 1990; Olweus et al., 1988).
Another study found that after handling a gun, both males and females testosterone levels rise and the more they rise the more aggression they will impose on another (Klinesmith et al.,2006)
Studies based on hormones have not provided strong enough evidence that testosterone cause aggressive behavioural

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