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"There Is Not One Single Psychological Theory That Can Adequately Account For Human Aggression And Violence." To What Extent Do You Agree With This Claim?

1548 words - 6 pages

Aggression is in my mind one of the harder subject in psychology, as there are so many factors involved. In this essay I hope to cover as many as possible. I'm going to examine the definition of aggression and critically examine each of the perspective. I hope by the end of the essay to have discovered if there is one adequate psychological theory to explain aggression or notThe first problems to over come when talking about aggression is how to measure it and definition. One researcher may define aggression from the physical out burst such as pushing and striking, where as another research would define aggression as physical and verbal but not necessarily both at the same time. How much or little should a definition include, is motivation important? What about the target does that change the definition of the aggressive act. To some extent the definition of aggression is determined by the social and cultural back ground of the perceiverAs the problem of definition of aggression has not been resolved how do we operationalise aggression? Well with all these different definition can we generalise from any studies on aggression. Well for a start all studies use analogue or substitute for the real thing as it is unethical to make people assault each other. Studies generally speak for them selves as long as the study have been carried out with high ecological validity and high internal validity then the study should be easy to generalize from but there is no way of comparing studies of aggression until a standard definition of aggression has been formed.The biological theories state that aggression is innate an instinct. It is a pattern of response that is genetically predetermined. This means it shows certain instinctual characteristics. There are three main theories that are based biological perspective psychodynamic theory, ethological theory and evolutionary theory.The psychodynamic theory was one favoured by Freud (1930). He theorised that human aggression stems from innate death instinct (thanatos) which is the opposite to the life instinct (eros). This is a theory based on one factor: aggression builds up and must be released. Other theorist the neo Freudians have built upon this basic idea they feel that aggression is a bit more rational but still innate. There is a process where people look for a health release for primitive survival instinctsThe ethological theory much like the view of the neo Freudians focuses on the positive functions of aggression. The ethologists realise that the instinct or potential is innate actual manifestations of aggression is initiated by stimulants in the environment which they call releasers. The ethological theory put forward the possibility that aggression has survival value as animals are far more aggressive towards members of the same species, this help to distribute the species this in turn helps with making best use of resources, However interspecies aggression serves to warn rather than end in violenceThe...

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