Social Psychological Theories Of Aggression

1961 Words8 Pages
There are 3 theories that go towards explaining aggression, each giving a different view on what causes aggression. These theories are the Social/Psychological theory, Biological theory and the Evolutionary theory on aggression.

Part of the Social/Psychological theory on aggression is the Social Learning Theory (SLT) and it suggests that we learn aggressive behaviour by observing other being aggressive. Albert Bandura (1961) did a study involving bobo dolls, in which he tested 36 girls and boys aged between 3 and 6 years old. They were pre-tested for aggressive behaviour by researchers and were rated on four 5-point rating scales. By doing this they could match the children into groups based on similar levels of aggression, and example of
…show more content…
There is also Institutional aggression which includes aggression inside an institution such as a prison and aggression from one group to another. There are 2 models relating to aggression within prisons, importation and deprivation. The importation model by Irwin & Cressey (1962) focuses on the personality characteristics that prison inmates take into prison with them. Characteristics such as experiences, values, attitudes and norms that favour violence and violent behaviour towards others. Younger inmates may find it harder to adjust to prison life so act in a violent manner as a way of dealing with it. The importation model argues that it is not the prisons that cause violence but the people within it. However, the importation model doesn’t accurately predict which inmates will become violent as all the model states is that prisoners who were part of a gang before their conviction were more likely to act violent in prison, but DeLisi et al…show more content…
Evolutionary psychologists argue that reproductive challenges faced by our ancestors can explain aggressive behaviour today. For example, a man can never be sure that he is the father of his wife’s children unless he prevents her from seeing other men. This ‘sexual jealousy’ is often the cause of domestic violence. Daly & Wilson (1988) stated that men have developed retention strategies to stop their partners committing adultery such as watching their every move, asking who they are talking to, stopping them from going out to violence. If a man 's partner is unfaithful he runs the risk of cuckoldry which is he invests resources into raising somebody else’s child which may have been the cause of men’s sexual jealousy. Men unable to provide positive reasons for their partners to stay with them are more likely to become jealous and turn violent which could lead to unintentional uxoricide (wife killing). The Evolved Homicide Module Theory by Duntley & Buss (2011) disagreed with this view of uxoricide and instead stated that when a woman is unfaithful; the man not only loses a partner, but another man gains one and that by killing his partner he prevents the other man from gaining a reproductive advantage. Group displays of aggression also can be explained by the Evolutionary theory. For example, in the early 20th Century lynching became a common way for white men to terrorise black men in the USA. Myrdal (!944) stated the

More about Social Psychological Theories Of Aggression

Open Document