Outline and Evaluate 1 Social Psychological Theory of Aggression – (8+16 Marks)

734 Words3 Pages
Social learning theory suggests that aggression is learnt, by observing others acting aggressively. For the social learning theory an individual would observe a model and try to recreate the models behavior who has repeatedly been reinforced. Before the individual can reinact the aggressive behavior they must form mental representations of it in their mind and commit these to memory. The individual will learn what acts would be rewarded and what acts would be punished and commit this to memory. They must then enable how they will enact these behaviours in their mind and believe that they have a similar ability to the model to be able to have the same effect as the model. Behavior is more likely to be reinforced if the model has resulted in rewards and steers clear of punishments, and the model has a desirable power. The model tends to be similar to the observer, to increase the self efficacy and the behavior that would be imitated wouldn’t be too hard to the individual to imitate due to this similarity. There are two different types if reinforcement that would encourage the individual to imitate the action, direct and indirect. Direct reinforcement is if the individual directly receives the rewards and indirectly is if the individual observes someone else receiving reward. A strength of this study is that it can explain why people are aggressive in the absence of direct reinforcement. For example, in Bandura’s Bobo doll study the children were not directly reinforced but still showed their own aggressive behavior as a concept of reinforcement was there and despite criticisms social learning theory has maintained an important place in the study of aggression as the bobo doll study supports the social learning theory. A weakness of the social learning theory is that there are different explanations of aggression, for example Dollard et al suggests that aggressive
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