Social Psychology provides student readers with essential help with all aspects of their first course in social psychology, including advice on revising for exams, preparing and writing course assessment materials, and enhancing and progressing their knowledge and skills in line with course requirements on a social psychology course.



Core Areas

  • Catharsis
  • Desensitisation
  • Disinhibition
  • Ethology
  • Excitation-transfer theory
  • Frustration-aggression hypothesis
  • Instincts
  • Role of norms
  • Role of media
  • Weapons effect

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  • define key terms;
  • understand theories of aggression;
  • acknowledge the work of key thinkers in this area;
  • show an awareness of the personal situational factors that might effect aggression; and
  • examine the role of the media on aggression.

Running Themes

  • Individual centred approach
  • Socio-centred approach
  • Social influence
  • Social norms
  • Deindividuation


Berkowitz (1993) sees aggression as an act “involving behaviour, either physical or symbolic, performed with ...

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