Outline And Evaluate Social Theory Of Agression

850 Words4 Pages
Bandura’s Social Learning Theory suggests that acts of aggression are learnt through the observation of role models. His original “Bobo Doll” study showed that when exposed to aggressive behaviour small children copied this behaviour, not just by being physically aggressive but even copying the verbally aggressive behaviour. However this study focuses on children who are supposed to learn in this manner, this doesn’t demonstrate that this would also be true in older children or adults who already have a set moral compass that would interfere with copying aggressive behaviours. However Bandura’s later study showed that if children saw someone get punished for aggressive behaviour they were less likely to be aggressive themselves when they were allowed to play with the bobo doll but if they saw someone get rewarded for this aggressive behaviour then they were much more likely to act aggressively themselves, this shows that vicarious reinforcement is important to the learning of aggression through the social learning theory, as receiving direct positive reinforcement leads to people having high self efficacy making them very likely to repeat the aggressive behaviour that they were rewarded for. In terms of aggression this reward could come in many forms such as acceptance from a violent gang they want to be a part of or just attention from a parent or teacher. This theory is supported by Phillips who found that when boxing matches were shown on the television there was a clear correlation between that showing times are the increased rates of homicide soon after that time suggesting that after seeing aggressive behaviour on the television people are more inclined to act aggressively or with a stronger level of aggression leading to homicide. The suggestion that aggression is learnt from those around you explains why there is a large amount of variation of crime rates
Open Document