School of Health


Is Aggresion   genetically wired in humans or is it just a learnt behaviour?

Looking into the orgins of aggression, it suggests that aggression is ”Beast within” , which indicates that   aggresstion was bred in human beings by   ”survival of the fittest” similar to that found in many species and animals. However   being aggressive is the in the nature of humans.
Aggression refers to a behaviour that is directed towards another individual that is carried out with the immidiate intent to cause harm. In addition to this the culprit must believe that the behaviour will harm the target, and also the target is motivated into avoiding the behaviour ( Bushman & Anderson 2oo1, Baron & Richardson 1994, Berkowitz 1993, Green 2001). There are variety of forms   which aggression comes in, instrumental, hostile, passive and active aggression.
This essay aims to decribe aggression and its explanations and understanding the causes of aggressive behaviours if it is innate or   learned. In this case the focus is on both biological explanations and social explanations of   aggressive behaviours. Biological causes includes   hormonal mechanisms and genes. Social causes being   environmental factors such as deindividuation and social learning theory

One theory explaining aggression through social perspectives is Albert Bandura’s social learning theory (SLT). One of the most influential and is commonly propossed by behaviourists explaining aggression. Behaviours, including aggression is learned either by vicarious or direct experience suggested by the SLT. Aggressive behaviours can be learned vicariously through observation, for instances a child exposed to violence, which leads it to imitating violence. Moreover according to social learning theory aggressive behaviours can also be learned through direct experience. Which indicates that, if a violent behaviour is reinforced the behaviour is more likely to reccur. The ”ARRM...