Explanations of Institutional Aggression

AQA A-Level Psychology A: Aggression

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Explanations of Institutional Aggression by Mind Map: Explanations of Institutional Aggression

1. Abu Ghraib prison atrocities

1.1. Iraqi prisoners of war were subjected to dehumanising and degrading treatment by American soldiers

1.2. Situational explanations: 'in that situation, anyone would have done it'

1.2.1. Those involved were at 'the bottom of the barrel' as army reservists on the night shift - they were trying to demonstrate control over anything that was inferior to them.

1.2.2. There was no superior officer checking what they were doing.

1.2.3. Revenge for hurting and killing fellow US soldiers or 'teaching them a lesson'.

1.2.4. Deindividuation through wearing of a uniform and acting in an agent state.

1.3. Dispositional explanations: 'they were rogue soldiers'

1.3.1. These particular soldiers were 'a few bad apples' because of aspects of their disposition that made them more likely of behaving this way, and this is not representative of soldiers as a whole.

2. Situational forces

2.1. Factors present in social situations that can collectively encourage the showing of certain aggressive or antisocial behaviours that would otherwise not be seen.

2.2. Factors such as the chronic stress of police work, along with the inability to respond to the actual source of the stress, increase the aggressive nature of responsibilities that the police make - it is the working environment that leads then to show aggressive behaviours.

2.3. Zimbardo - Stanford Prison Experiment - 24 male Ps randomly allocated as prisoners or guards - all Ps underwent physical and psychological testing to ensure they were 'normal'- guards were instructed to maintain and control the prison but not to use physical violence - guards inflicted cruel and degrading punishments when prisoners rebelled.

2.3.1. Self-selected sampling

2.4. Deprivation Model

2.4.1. Characteristics of the prison environment lead to interpersonal violence.

3. Individualistic (dispositional) forces

3.1. Characteristics of the individual that they contribute to the showing of behaviours regarded as aggressive or antisocial.

3.2. This view does not completely ourselves as human beings - this view assumes we are rational individuals who uphold our morals in every situation

3.3. Importation Model

3.3.1. Inmates with particular characteristics are more likely to engage in interpersonal violence than others.

4. Terrorism: Situational or Dispositional?

4.1. Could it be a mixture of both? Contemporary terrorism represents contrasting institutional balance of power dominated by family, ethnicity and religion (Deflem).

4.2. Suicide bombers have more of a dispositional nature: key motivational components are issues of shame, esteem and repressed/ suppressed anger.

4.3. Many islamic terrorists were university educated and came from very supportive and often materially affluent backgrounds - so it is less likely to be dispositional.

4.4. Methodological flaws of this analysis

4.4.1. Terrorist action if often unique

4.4.2. Lack of empirical data for terrorist events, so it is difficult to draw conclusions

4.4.3. There is not a 'typical terrorist'

5. Aggressive behaviour is more dynamic than simply having social or institutional motives