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Nature vs nurture This essay will look at the different aspects of behaviour of Peter who acts out and has been involved in antisocial behaviour and violence and attempt to find the reasons for his actions. This study will look at the nature versus nurture debate to find out why he has such challenging behaviour.When looking over Peters case study and firstly look at Peters fathers behaviour in which his neighbours suggest that his father beats his mother and as well as the children, this could be a explanation for Peters behaviour and that his father is his role model. Bobo doll experiment study on aggression by psychologist Albert Bandura demonstrated that children are able to learn though the observation of adult’s behaviours. This experiment, carried out by Bandura, Ross & Ross, (1961) at Stanford University showed that adults who acted aggressively towards an inflatable doll in front of pre-school children, led the children to later copy their behaviour and act aggressively towards the doll in same fashion. The experiment was carried out again with the adults acting compassionately towards the doll and received the same results with the children acting in the same way towards the doll. The aim of the study was to try and prove that children would follow the same behaviour of adults and role models this behaviour is also known as observational learning. In this theory it suggests Peter’s behaviour is seen to be from what he has witness and experienced growing up.Another theorist who’s viewpoint was that Peters father is the reason why Peter acts aggressively is Bouchard (1990). Thomas Bouchard carried out a study in Minnesota on identical twins that were separated at birth and brought up by different families one of the personality test showed very similar results and had the same medical history. This would prove and suggest that Peter’s aggressive behaviour may have been inherited from his father and he could have a greater chance of inheriting his short temper and alcohol addiction.Bowlby’s attachment theory (1969) believes that maternal depravation can lead to mental health issues later on in life. This could mean if a child receives little interaction or care from the mother or lose connection with child its can lead the child to have development problems and be affectionless. Bowlbys concluded that parents who are affectionless towards their children could cause them serious emotional damage. In Peters study Bowlbys theory suggests that because he was not shown affection from his mother or father and due to the lack of care and parental connection he has grown up to have problems with bad behaviour and depression. Bowlbys findings contradicted the theory of attachment (Dollard and Miller, 1950) which was seen to underestimate a child bond with its mother.It is believed that attachment behaviours are formed in infancy and help with attachment relationships people form when their adults. Some psychologists such as of Harris (1998), disagree with this idea. Harris believes that too much emphasis on how the child ‘turns out’ should not be placed on just the parents. He goes on to disagree with the nurture assumption as well. Harris believes that peers have a bigger role on behaviour that parents do. Therefore Peter may feel a sense of power from stealing and sees the reaction from his fellow peers causing him to act the way he does.Asch (1951) conducted a study examining conformity. Asch wanted to examine how much social pressure and how much effect it could have on a person and was designed to test how peer pressure to conform would influence the judgement and individuality of a person. His study that some individuals find it harder to stand up to a crowd despite knowing there were in the right and seem to go with what the crowd are saying even knowing they are in the wrong. Therefore Peter’s behaviour could be down to following the group.In the deindividuation theory it emphasizes that the transgression of general societal norms results from the anonymity of a person within the group (Diener, 1980). Therefore Peter could be group leader and leading the group on.In an attempt to study deindividucation Zimbardo (1969) conducted a study called the Stanford prison experiment. He randomly selected 24 men to take on a role of either a guard or prisoner. The students in position of the prison guards were physically brutal to the students who were deindividuated as prisoners, so much that they had to stop the experiment. Diener provided a theoretical clarification of Zinbardo’s theory by introducing the concept of self-awareness. Diener concluded that self-awareness is high when attention is drawn inward toward the self and people actively monitor their own behaviour. Peter’s behaviour relates strongly to Zinbardo’s theory as he shows power and authority towards his peers and he may just be imitating their behaviours due to peer pressure.Johnson and downing (1979) conducted an experiment were participants were dressed in Ku Klux klan outfits and covered their faces completely, in the second condition they were dressed up as nurses, and in the third they just wore their normal clothes. The participants had to give fake electric shock to the other confederate. The participants that dressed up like Klu Klux Klan outfits have a much higher levels of shock to the confederate than the other groups. This research shows than when individual’s identities are hidden and even if not part of a group may still be likely to be aggressive and act out. Johnson’s and Downing’s study shows that Peter acts in the same way as the crowd that he associates himself with making it easier for him to act the way he does.Dabbs et al (1995) conducted a study. Focusing on types of crimes, such as those involving violence and sexual assault. They looked at the testosterone levels in saliva in 692 adult incarecreted men and compared these to their criminal records and the prison records of their behaviour while incarcerated. Offenders that were convicted of crimes that involve violence like sexual assault and violence had higher levels of testosterone than offenders that were convicted of property crimes or drug offences. Offenders with higher testosterone were more likely to break prison rules. Studies have shown that men are more aggressive than women as of male crime in youths are three times that of females. Therefore Peter’s behaviour suggests it could be down to having higher testosterone in his body. Sigmund Freud’s (1924) theory of aggression believes that some events that happen in our childhood are a great influence on our adult life, shaping out your personality. Freud suggests that aggression is an inborn instinct, as to other theorists that felt aggression is a reaction or response. Freud postulated that humans have two basic drives aggression and libidinal. These are supposed to appear in human behaviour. The aggression drive is seen as destruction. Freud’s theory goes through series of stages, each being characterized by internal psychological conflict and that the behaviour of a human is the result of interactions with three components of the mind. Firstly is the ID which is the most primitive of the structures and is the source of all out basic urges. The ego is the personality that is for dealing with reality and helps us ensure that the personality of the ID are met, the last is superego is the part where the personality holds all the morals and standards that we acquire from family. Freud concludes we need all three to work together to have a healthy mind .Freud theory also suggests that children develop through stages of psychosexual. The five stages are oral, anal, phallic, latent and genital stage and can change over time as a person grows. As a person grows physically some parts of their body become more important as sources of potential frustration. Freud concludes that if one does not experience fixation in any of the psychosexual stages, once he or she has reached the genital stages he or she will grow up in to well balanced individual. Therefore Peter behaviour could be to do with an underlying reason and why he is so aggressive.

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