Free Essay

Social Aggression

In: Social Issues

Submitted By paulman46761
Words 1445
Pages 6
Article Critique

The article that I chose was about a study designed to examine the relationship between watching social aggression on television and the use of social aggression in everyday life. Social aggression is a type of non-physical aggression by which people use verbal or non-verbal actions to damage another’s self-esteem or social status. Martins and Wilson formed a study that involved 500 students from two different schools located in the same county, kindergarten through fifth grade. The schools in the study were chosen based on their economic backgrounds because it was established in the article through other studies’ findings that students from low income families watched more television than higher income families. The students participating in this study were given parental consent and partook in a survey that was conducted with one interviewer per two students. The students in the study were asked questions from two categories; the amount of television that the child watched in a week and the amount of social aggression that they used in a week. Half of the students were asked about the amount of TV watched first then the amount of social aggression used, and the other half were asked how much social aggression was used then the amount of TV watched. This was done in order to eliminate or lessen extraneous variables. The end results of the study were deemed varied. There were four hypotheses stated, half of which were supported as being correct and the other half seemingly incorrect based on the results of the study. Hypothesis number one predicted that the more exposure children had to social aggression, the more socially aggressive they would become. That hypothesis was concluded to be correct based on the results. Hypothesis number two predicted that the positive correlation between televised social aggression and the student’s actual aggression would be stronger for girls than for boys. This was also concluded to be correct by support from means of a simple slope analysis performed on the survey. Hypotheses three and four, on the other hand, were shown to be not supported. Specifically, hypothesis number three stated that students that wishfully identified with socially aggressive characters on TV would be more socially aggressive than students that did not wishfully identify with these characters. However, the results showed there to be no significant predictors of social aggression in girls or in boys in relation to wishful identification. The fourth hypothesis predicted that children who perceived television as “real” would be more socially aggressive than children who perceived it as fictional. The results of the study failed to provide a correlation or support for this hypothesis to be considered true. All in all, it seems that the study accomplished what it was intended to accomplish. The main aim of this study was hypothesis number one. This hypothesis was supported and showed that there is a positive correlation between the amount of socially aggressive television that we allow our children to watch and the likelihood that they will in turn be socially aggressive. The authors of the study attempted to identify and eliminate or lessen the possibilities of extraneous variables many times over throughout the survey and in doing so made for a more accurate overall survey. Although I feel that this was an important strength to the study, there were a few things that I feel could have been done differently to give more valid results. Although it was a good idea to use students from two different schools, I felt that instead of using students from two schools in the same county, or even from the same state, they could have broadened their study by doing the survey in two different geographic locations. By utilizing students from the same county, I feel that they are narrowing the scope of the mindset of participants in the study. Individuals from one region of the United States typically have more similar tastes in television choices and are more likely to have similar views on what is considered social aggression and the amount that is socially acceptable. If students from two different regions were chosen, this may help to generalize the results of the study across the entire population. I think another interesting aspect that was overlooked in this study was the possibility of varying incomes having various effects on social aggression. I would like to see this study done again with students from various economic backgrounds to determine if economic status is actually an extraneous variable. I think that by eliminating this variable, we are losing the possibility that even though low income families reportedly watch more TV, and therefore have more chances to be objected to social aggression, there is a possibility that higher-income families may watch and relate to social aggression more. Another point that I would like to present is something that the authors also pointed out in their own critique of the survey. The authors report that when asked at the end of the survey if the student related to some of the characters on the television shows which were in the survey, not all of the students were able to distinguish who all of these characters were. That tells me that the students were asked questions about television shows that they were not familiar with. If the survey had included more of the television shows that the students actually watched and related to, then I feel that the results could have shown even more positive correlation. Another key point that I feel was a weakness for this study is that although the authors did a good job by attempting to keep the study population equivalent with ratio of boys to girls, they state in the article that at one point teachers were asked to fill out a questionnaire on each of the children. The population of teachers participating in this step of the study was reportedly 97% female. It is not specified as to what type of information these teachers were providing or what these questionnaires contributed to the overall study, but it is reported that boys seemed to have no correlation in regard to watching social aggression on TV and acting out social aggression. I would have liked to have known what the teachers were required to fill out because if it was involving report of students’ aggressive behaviors, the results could have substantially affected the results of the study based on bias that may exist from different views between men and women as to what constitutes social aggression and gender biased views as to how different genders act out social aggression. It is also difficult to determine if the television programs chosen for the survey were gender neutral in their targeted audience. Although it was good that the authors included more than just one program in the survey, it is not known what type of audience each of the very limited number of programs was aimed toward. I feel that it’s possible that if the programs were targeted more toward females, or had more female social aggression demonstrated in the program, then males would have less likelihood of identifying with the program, and thus having less affect from what was viewed in the program. One way to prevent such variables would be to include more television shows instead of just a few, and to be sure that there are an equal number of instances in which both genders demonstrate acting out social aggression. Maybe if the above mentioned variables would have been accounted for, the results of boys having no correlation between social aggression on television and their own acts of social aggression may have been different. With the old saying “hind sight is 20/20” in mind, one could easily pick out problems in some of the best research surveys out there. Although this study did have multiple identifiable flaws in design and execution, the authors did ultimately establish support for what they originally set out to prove. This study enlightened many people about the potentially devastating effects that social aggression in television may have on our children. Social aggression is very popular on many different programs on television, and in those programs it is not always punished nor is it always condemned. It is as if social aggression is sometimes without negative consequences and portrayed as being the “cool” thing to do. It would be very interesting to see this study done again with attention to the various issues that I have highlighted in this analysis.

References
Martins, N., Wilson, B. (2012). Social aggression on television and its relationship to children’s aggression in the classroom. Human Communication Research. (38), 1, 48-71.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Social Theory of Aggression

...Outline & evaluate one social-psychological theory of aggression One social-psychological theory of aggression is the social-learning theory. Bandura suggested that as well as being learnt through direct experience, aggressive behaviour can be learnt indirectly, through observation of others. If a person observes aggressive behaviour in a model, they may imitate their behaviour, especially if they identify with or admire the model. The observer forms a mental representation of the event, including the consequences (rewards or punishments) of the models behaviour. Vicarious reinforcement is when the model is rewarded, and this will increase the chance of the behaviour being repeated. In this way, children learn appropriate and effective ways to use certain behaviours. When a person imitates the behaviour, they gain direct experience. The outcome of aggressive behaviour will influence the value of aggression for a child. When a child is rewarded for behaviour, this is direct reinforcement, and will make them more likely to repeat the behaviour. A child develops confidence in their ability to use aggressive behaviour successfully. If they are unsuccessful, they will have lower self-efficacy, so will be less confident that they can use aggression successfully, and will turn to other behaviours. A strength of social learning theory is that it is supported by empirical evidence, for example Bandura’s Bobo doll studies. Children who were shown a video of an adult being......

Words: 511 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Outline & Evaluate One Social-Psychological Theory of Aggression

...Outline & evaluate one social-psychological theory of aggression One social-psychological theory of aggression is the social-learning theory. Bandura suggested that as well as being learnt through direct experience, aggressive behaviour can be learnt indirectly, through observation of others. If a person observes aggressive behaviour in a model, they may imitate their behaviour, especially if they identify with or admire the model. The observer forms a mental representation of the event, including the consequences (rewards or punishments) of the models behaviour. Vicarious reinforcement is when the model is rewarded, and this will increase the chance of the behaviour being repeated. In this way, children learn appropriate and effective ways to use certain behaviours. When a person imitates the behaviour, they gain direct experience. The outcome of aggressive behaviour will influence the value of aggression for a child. When a child is rewarded for behaviour, this is direct reinforcement, and will make them more likely to repeat the behaviour. A child develops confidence in their ability to use aggressive behaviour successfully. If they are unsuccessful, they will have lower self-efficacy, so will be less confident that they can use aggression successfully, and will turn to other behaviours. A strength of social learning theory is that it is supported by empirical evidence, for example Bandura’s Bobo doll studies. Children who were shown a video of an adult being......

Words: 511 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Describe and Evaluate Social Explanations for Aggression

...Describe and evaluate social explanations for aggression (16 + 8 marks) There are a number of different theories which offer explanations for aggression. These include social psychological explanations and biological explanations. Some of the social explanations are social learning theory and deindividuation. Social learning theory was developed by Albert Bandura and is based on the behaviourist approach that our aggressive behaviour is learnt. He proposed that it is similar to operant conditioning where learning takes place due to observation and imitation. H explains that modelling has an influential role on the manner of the aggression, as if role models are seen t be aggressive this encourages those who observe them to exert similar behaviour. He also explains that vicarious learning takes place which is indirect rewarding of behaviour. AN example of this would include a child observing another child hitting someone in order to get the toy they desired. A number of factors influence the aggression levels learnt and shown in individuals, one of which is self-efficacy. This refers to the ability to perform the aggressive act, thus we are only likely to be aggressive if it is likely that we will succeed! Other characteristics of models influence whether someone will imitate behaviour, as if they have high power and status or are similar to he individual then this is likely to increase imitation. Therefore violence in the media is an increasing problem in the world......

Words: 1331 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Unit 3

...Tahreem Naz Outline one social psychological theory of aggression Aggression is an act that is carried out with the intention to harm another person and is viewed as one of the most disturbing forms of human social behaviour. Some psychologists believe that aggression is a legacy of our evolutionary ancestry, while others might believe it is best explained by the ‘social learning theory’. One of the most powerful sources of learning behaviour is imitative learning where we learn from observing others and imitating their actions. This is clearly shown in Bandura’s (1961) study, which involved children observing aggressive and non-aggressive adult models and then being tested for imitative learning in the absence of the model. Children in the aggressive condition reproduced a good deal of physically and verbally aggressive behaviour resembling that of the model, whilst the children in the non-aggressive condition exhibited virtually no aggression towards the bobo doll. In addition, the boys reproduced more imitative physical aggression than girls, but they did not differ in there imitations of verbal aggression. The boys showed more aggressive behaviour when the adult model was the same-sex which suggests that behaviour is likely to be imitative when the role model is not the same gender. Furthermore, according to social learning theory theorists, if behaviour is to be imitated it must be seen rewarding in some way. Bandura and Walters (1963) found that children who...

Words: 1117 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Aggression and Violence in the Inner City Effects of Environment Via Mental Fatigue

...Kuo, Sullivan / AGGRESSION AND / July 2001 ENVIRONMENT AND BEHAVIOR VIOLENCE AGGRESSION AND VIOLENCE IN THE INNER CITY Effects of Environment via Mental Fatigue FRANCES E. KUO is an assistant professor at the University of Illinois, UrbanaChampaign. Her research examines effects of the environment on healthy human functioning in individuals, families, and communities. WILLIAM C. SULLIVAN is an associate professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on the psychological and social benefits of urban nature and citizen participation in environmental decision making. ABSTRACT: S. Kaplan suggested that one outcome of mental fatigue may be an increased propensity for outbursts of anger and even violence. If so, contact with nature, which appears to mitigate mental fatigue, may reduce aggression and violence. This study investigated that possibility in a setting and population with relatively high rates of aggression: inner-city urban public housing residents. Levels of aggression were compared for 145 urban public housing residents randomly assigned to buildings with varying levels of nearby nature (trees and grass). Attentional functioning was assessed as an index of mental fatigue. Residents living in relatively barren buildings reported more aggression and violence than did their counterparts in greener buildings. Moreover, levels of mental fatigue were higher in barren buildings, and aggression accompanied mental fatigue. Tests for the...

Words: 11648 - Pages: 47

Premium Essay

Why Are Individuals Aggressive

...WHY ARE INDIVIDUALS AGGRESSIVE?Aggression is difficult to define, it is a complex phenomenon, and depending upon the context the term can be made to carry either positive or negative connotations, it can be attacking behaviour that may be either self-protective and self-assertive or to the infliction of injury toward oneself or toward others, to the total destruction of others. Is aggression biological determined or the product of learning and environmental influences.? This essay, will consider instinctive theory, the frustration - aggression hypothesis, and social learning theory. It should then be possible to draw a conclusion to see if any or all of the theories discussed are the cause of aggression. Brain disorders, hormonal and chemical imbalances, environmental factors, such as heat, noise, air pollution and overcrowding, although contribute to the causes of aggression will not be discussed during the course of this essay. No universally adopted definition of aggression exists, for the purpose of this discussion, the definition of Gross will be used.Gross defines aggression as :- "The intentional infliction of some form of harm on others" (Gross page 444)Freud proposed that aggression is an instinctive biological urge. According to Freud this instinct, is made up of the libido (pleasure) and "Thanatos" (the death wish) (pain). This basic instinct is present in the Id from birth, at first the aggression is relatively uncontrolled, but with the development of the Ego and...

Words: 2233 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Miss

...Outline and evaluate one or more social psychological theory of aggression. (24 mark) Aggression is defined as behaviour that is intended to harm or injure, this is directed towards another living being and can include physical injury. There are two approaches to aggression that I will be discussing in this essay, social learning theory and deinidividuation. Social Learning Theory (SLT) is defined as learning behaviour that is controlled by environmental influences rather than innate or internal forces. The behaviour shown by individuals during this theory of aggression is often referred to as modelling or observational learning; this is a form of vicarious experience. It is believed that humans are not born as aggressive individuals so the acts of aggression can only be acquired through direct experience and the observation of others. The behaviourists’ explanation emphasises on reinforcement. This is when certain behaviour is rewarded, encouraging it to be repeated and learned. Aggression that is associated with a reward is likely to be learned. Bandura et al (The Bobo doll) tested this theory of aggression and found that children who observed a model behaving aggressively towards a doll were likely to carry out the same behaviour when allowed to interact with the doll. His findings found that when left alone with the doll children would even improvise their own aggressive actions towards the doll. This behaviour was more commonly shown when the adult’s aggressive......

Words: 1206 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Social Psych

...814002322 Course title: Introduction to Social Psychology Course Code: PSYC 1004 Lecture Topic: Aggression Aggression Baron and Branscombe define aggression as “behaviour directed toward the goal of harming another living being who is motivated to avoid such treatment” (Baron & Branscombe, 2012). * Violence: “an extreme form of aggression, such as assaults, rape or murder” (). Types of Aggression * Instrumental aggression – aggression aimed at accomplishing a goal * Hostile aggression – aim of the aggression is to inflict harm * Indirect aggression – aggressive is not face to face * Direct aggression – aggressive act is face to face Theories of Aggression Instinct Theory: Through evolution, humans have inherited a fighting instinct similar to that found in many species of animals. Social Learning Theory: Human aggression is largely learned by watching other people behave aggressively, either in person or in films. It is also learned when we are rewarded for aggression. Frustration-Aggression Hypothesis: Our motivation for aggression increases when our ongoing behavior is interrupted or we are prevented from reaching a goal. Negative Affect Theory: Proposed by Leonard Berkowitz, it states that negative feelings and experiences are the main cause of anger and angry aggression. Sources of anger include: pain, frustration, loud noise, foul odours, crowding, sadness, and depression. Aggression as Biology Neural influences......

Words: 344 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Genocide

...Australia, which has approximately 4.2 million pet dogs (Animal Health Alliance, 2013). However, dog aggression is the most common pet dogs’ behavior problem and it causes a major public health problem in Australia (Voelker, 1997; Schalamon, 2006). According to the Annual Urban Animal Management Conference (2013), average 14,000 Australians are injured due to dog attack each year and about 1,400 of those injuries required medical treatment or hospitalization. Over sixty percent of dog attacks occurred at home, which means an owner or household-members have a higher possibility to be victimized in a dog attack. Over the last three decades, numerous of researches have been indicated that owner attachment levels and dog characteristics are the major factors leading to aggressive responses in pet dogs (Borchelt, 1983; Landsberg, 1991; Hunthausen, 1997; Hsu and Sun, 2010). Although these findings provide evidence for the link between owner-dog interaction and the aggressive behavior problem in pet dogs, surprisingly little research has examined the link between pet dogs-directed aggression in human and the controlling behavior in a relationship. To redress this imbalance, it is important to explore the connection between pet dogs aggressive behavior and domestic violence. Aims and Objectives The aims of this present study are to explore the connection between human directed aggression by pet dogs and controlling behavior in a relationship, to critically examine the......

Words: 4564 - Pages: 19

Premium Essay

Discuss Genetic Factors Involved in Aggression

...Discuss genetic factors involved in aggressive behaviour A way to study the hereditary of aggression is through twin studies. There are two types of twins; monozygotic who are identical and share all the same genes are dizygotic who are non-identical and share only 50% of genes. If there is a 100% concordance rate between monozygotic twins it suggests that share genes may be responsible for aggressive behaviour rather than the environment. Caccaro et al found that there was a 50% variance in aggressive behaviour of adult twin pairs and that it was caused by genetic factors suggesting that genetics are involved with the aggression of individuals. Research that supports the link between genetics and aggression was conducted by Rhee and Waldman who conducted a meta-analysis of 51 studies and found that there was a relationship between genetic factors and anti-social behaviour suggesting that genetics does have an effect on levels of aggression. Adoption studies have looked at examining levels of aggression between adopted children and their biological parents. If a positive correlation is found between the adoptee and biological parent then a genetic factor is implied but if a positive correlation is found between the adoptee and rearing family then a environmental factor may be implied suggesting that it is not only genetic factors that influence levels of aggression. Research that supports adoption studies was conducted by Hutchings and Mendick who studied 14,000......

Words: 783 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Deindividuation

...Summary Deindividuation account is the earliest major social psychological theories of aggression. Le Bon (1895), a French social psychologist and sociologist was the first to recognise how an individual’s behaviour changes when s/he is part of a crowd. The most important factor is anonymity. The more anonymous the crowd, the greater the threat of extreme action. A ‘collective mindset’ takes over and the crowd acts as one unit. The individual becomes part of the crowd and loses self control. ‘Deindividuation’ was defined by Festinger et al. (1952) as a state of affairs in a group where members don’t pay attention to other individuals as individuals and, correspondingly, the members don’t feel they’re being singled out by others. According to Festinger et al., individuals merge to the group, forego individuality and become anonymous when belonging to a group. Anonymity is the start of the process that leads to uncharacteristic behaviour in the individual. Being in a group causes the individual to be less bothered about the consequences of their actions. Zimbardo (1969) argued that there is more to deindividuation than just anonymity in a group or crowd. Diener et al. (1976) conducted an experiment involving over 700 Halloween trick-or-treaters visiting local houses in their Halloween costumes. Friends of the researchers put out bowls of sweets or coins that were labelled “TAKE ONE”. There were two conditions, the non-anonymous condition and the anonymous condition.......

Words: 957 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Psychology Aggression

...Social Learning Theory (SLT) suggests that children learn aggressive behaviour by observing others acting aggressively. They also learn under what situations people are likely to be rewarded for their aggressive behaviour or punished (this is known as vicarious reinforcement). As a result, they learn how to perform aggressive acts when appropriate (i.e. when rewards will follow), and will learn not to perform aggressive acts when they will be punished for it. For social learning to take place, the child must form a mental representation of the behaviour as well as an expectancy of any future outcome of them performing that behaviour. If opportunities for aggressive behaviour arise in the future, the child may display that behaviour provided the expectation of reward is greater than the expectation of punishment. SLT is supported by Bandura et al., who found that children who observed a model behaving aggressively towards a Bobo doll were more likely to reproduce the same behaviours when they were later allowed to interact with the doll; the children even improvised their own aggressive actions towards the doll. This was particularly the case when they saw the adult rewarded for their aggressive behaviour, thus supporting the claim that the expectation of reward influences the likelihood of a behaviour being performed. However, this study lacks validity because the children may have been aware of what was expected of them, leading to them displaying demand......

Words: 672 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

The Causes and Effects of Alcohol Consumption on Aggression and Violence

...The Causes and Effects of Alcohol Consumption on Aggression and Violence The Causes and Effects of Alcohol Consumption on Aggression and Violence Alcohol has been fermented or distilled for thousands of years and enjoyed by millions of people. Over the course of history it has profoundly influenced many societies in both positive and negative ways, thus acting as a double edged sword by stimulating its users, causing problems, and inspiring laws. Currently, alcohol is one of the most popular psychoactive drugs in use today. It acts as a great source of revenue for governments and influences both users and nonusers. Although there has been a substantial amount of research done on the influence of alcohol on aggression and violence, the relationship is still not completely understood. The common belief is that alcohol causes aggression or violent behavior. However, research has shown that there are several other factors involved. Various researchers have taken many different approaches to determine the effects of alcohol on violence and aggressive behavior. Some of these methods include experimental research, interviews, surveys, and naturalistic observation. One of the most common experimental testing methods of aggression is the Taylor Aggression Paradigm (TAP) or one of its various modifications (Chermack & Giancola, 1997). Studies utilizing the TAP have instructed the participants that they will be competing on a reaction......

Words: 1625 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Family Issues

...School Environment as Predictors for Physical Aggression in Low-Income Children Xiaoyu Li University of Nebraska-Lincoln, whulucy@gmail.com Follow this and additional works at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cehsdiss Part of the Pre-Elementary, Early Childhood, Kindergarten Teacher Education Commons Li, Xiaoyu, "Family Environment and School Environment as Predictors for Physical Aggression in Low-Income Children" (2012). Open Access Theses and Dissertations from the College of Education and Human Sciences. Paper 164. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cehsdiss/164 This Article is brought to you for free and open access by the Education and Human Sciences, College of (CEHS) at DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln. It has been accepted for inclusion in Open Access Theses and Dissertations from the College of Education and Human Sciences by an authorized administrator of DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln. FAMILY ENVIRONMENT AND SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT AS PREDICTORS FOR PHYSICAL AGGRESSION IN LOW-INCOME CHILDREN by Xiaoyu Li A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science Major: Child, Youth, & Family Studies Under the Supervision of Professor Soo-Young Hong Lincoln, Nebraska November, 2012 FAMILY ENVIRONMENT AND SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT AS PREDICTORS FOR PHYSICAL AGGRESSION IN LOW-INCOME CHILDREN Xiaoyu Li, M.S.......

Words: 9400 - Pages: 38

Free Essay

Discuss Psychological Explanations of Two or More Forms of Institutional Aggression (8 +16 Marks)

...Discuss Psychological Explanations of two or more forms of Institutional Aggression (8 +16 marks) Institutional aggression can be defined as aggressive behaviour that occurs within a place of confinement such as prison, and is motivated by social forces, rather than anger or frustration. One psychological explanation of institutional aggression is institutional aggression within groups. This form of aggression can be explained using the importation model which involves interpersonal factors. Research by Irwin and Cressey (1962) suggests that prisoners bring their own social histories and traits with them into prison. This then influences their adaptation to the prison environment. They also argue that prisoners are not simply ‘blank slates’ when they enter prison. Due to this, many of the normative systems developed in the outside world would be ‘imported’ into the prison. Harer and Steffensmeier (2006) offer some research support for the importation model. This particularly applies when evaluating individual factors such as age, education level and race. Their study involved collecting data from 58 US prisons where they found that black inmates had significantly higher rates of violent behaviour. However, these people displayed lower rates of alcohol-related and drug-related misconduct than white inmates. Despite this, there is a problem of sample bias with Harer and Steffensmier’s study. This is because only US prisons took part. This means that the results are not......

Words: 1036 - Pages: 5