According to Bandura’s explanation, people acquire aggressive reactions using the same mechanism that they use in other complex forms of behavior. These include direct experience or direct observation-modeling. This happens when a person observes another individual and tries to emulate him or her. Bandura’s theory of social learning on aggression has been useful in trying to understand different human way of depicting their aggression.
His study on social learning theory can be applied to various social problems encountered in the society like HIV-AIDS transmission, adolescence contraception and different sexual behaviours. This theory bases its argument on the premise that the behaviours may be purposefully curried out without being directly reinforced. Bandura’s research shows that cognitive processes work in creating expectations on the outcomes of an activity because they serve as reinforcements for the committed actions (Bandura & Walters 1963).
This theory focuses mostly on the cognitive actions of the observer as one digest the message. For example when learning from media forms like print, radio, computers or television, an observers action will depend on a series of mental processes including attention, retention, motor reproduction and motivation. The proof that media has a role in teaching aggression is that of riots that happen in most towns across the world. You find that when a riot against some issue is passed across the media, people will group up to accomplish their mission.
There are more reports that indicate that the most salient forms of mass media liable for provoking aggression is music videos since it is not only emotive but also attention getting. Interventions for the initial signs of violent behavior at an early age should be made a priority because it research findings have established that children who are at the age of 8 demonstrate a positive response and relationship between their levels of television watching.
When this television watching and aggression was reassessed at the age of 19 to 29, people with the highest rate of television watching at the earlier age as at the present had a major history on of aggression, abusive parental practices and serious crimes or alcohol use. This is explained by the fact that the underdeveloped frontal lobe of a child’s brain makes them unable to differentiate between fantasy and what is real. They therefore are very susceptible to unintentional adaptation of what the media portrays as reality.
They will end up generalizing the attitudes, behaviors, and circumstances depicted in the media. When studying aggression, it is better to study the differences between gender because studies have found out that males and females have been differently created in terms of being prepared to learn violence which results in lower aggression among the women. Reason brought forward to support this statement is that females have small size and less strength which puts them in a situation where acts of aggression are usually not reinforced with successful outcomes.
Males and females have also been created socially different whereby females are brought up to engage in caring while the males’ role has an aggressive attitude that he should enact so as to reduce chances of loosing his masculinity (Damon, Lerner & Eisenberg, 2006). Females also show less aggression in ways like name calling, snubbing and defamation and therefore they rank higher on sympathy, they further express sympathy into emphatic concern and perspective view point.
Sympathy on the other hand has been classified as an inhibitor of aggression. There is a plausible explanation for the continual rise in violence even on those people who previously did not show aggressive predispositions. Following the media’s exaggeration of violence, society have fallen victim to from the statement that it is a mean world syndrome. From this view point, the unrealistic perception that a society is a dangerous place motivates people to curry weapons or be the ones responsible for initiating aggression before they are aggressed.
Creation of video games has been met with several concerns because they expose children to violent behaviors to violent behavior scripts that contain semi-realistic rewards for showing aggression. These rewards are the points, cash and advance in stages given in the games. These act as reinforcements and as Bandura’s research indicate, reinforcement plays are increasing learning effect. When youths in their future lives are faced with situations seen in the video games, early evidence show that the actions promotes transference of pain of others and the development of increased hostility.
People learn behavioral scripts and patterns that can be developed through touchable experiences or through vicarious learning. Bandura played a highly immense contribution to show how people learn aggression behaviors and what processes motivates or encourages the repeat of the aggression. In a school set up, students will learn to be aggressive when they have seen or have witnessed older students’ aggressive actions (Martinez-Pons, 2001). This can be motivated by the fact that they will one day grow old and be able to apply their aggression on smaller school mates.
Behavior is repeated and learned through observation and factors in the environment encourage these behaviors. This as developed by Bandura brings in forethought in the development and continual research on social learning theory of aggression where he explains that even the behavior can shape the environment. However when reading his original writings, people have no doubt in knowing that research needs to be heightened on the ways of imitating media and ways in which these imitations can be minimized so as to reduce aggression or pro-social behaviors and violent actions.