Social Psychological Theories Of Aggression Analysis

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The first theory is the social learning theory (SLT). It begins on the premise that we learn aggressive behaviour by observing others. Although we learn this behaviour we may not chose to show it, we are more likely to imitate the behaviour if they are a role model. Also, if the observed aggression is shown to have positive consequences, then we are more likely to observe it, this is commonly referred to as vicarious reinforcement. In order for social learning to take place the individual must form a mental representation of the behaviour and the expectancy of future outcomes of the behaviour. So cognition plays a role in the mental representations formed and whether the individual chooses to repeat the behaviour.

SLT links to the nature/nurture debate since it bodes that aggression is learnt from role models rather than being linked to biological reasons. So this means the theory has
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Likewise, we should consider it is difficult to know whether feeling anonymous was the only reason the women delivered the electric shocks, there may be further reasons. In addition, Watson’s experiment was a meta-analysis of correlational studies, therefore it is substantially difficult to draw a direct cause and effect relationship since cultural normal were different when these cultures existed. Though, based on the above points, the evidence does seem to limit the support for deindividuation.

So one issue with the deindividuation theory is the ability to investigate it in an ethical way, which is highly limited. However, a strength of the theory is that it offers a possible psychological reason to why aggression may result from groups e.g. London riots 2011. Also, it can perhaps help organisations like the police get a better understanding of targeting and dealing with potential explosive

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