Essay Comparing The Psychodynamic Theory And Social Learning Theory

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‘Compare the Psychodynamic and Social Learning theory of aggression.’ Aggression is the behaviour between members of the same species that is intended to cause pain or harm. Psychologists follow two main theories when explaining aggression. These are the Psychodynamic theory and the Social Learning theory. Freud suggested that the Psychodynamic theory explained aggression. The main thought in the Psychodynamic theory is that it is innate. Freud suggested that we all have an unconscious drive for aggression that is driven by our instincts. Over time our need for aggression builds up. As the aggression builds up we begin to show the aggression more. This can then leads to self-destruction. Freud also suggests how the human race deals with aggression. These are called ego-defence mechanisms. The first mechanism is Displacement- this is when we harm others. The second mechanism is Sublimation- this is…show more content…
The Social Learning theory suggests that aggressive behaviour is caused by people seeing how other people behave and copying it. This is called vicarious learning. Vicarious learning occurs very frequently as people look to other people for guidance on how they should act in new situations. Children are especially susceptible to this type of learning as they do not have as much knowledge as adults. Within the Social Learning theory there is also the idea that people monitor their own behaviour in order to reinforce what we already know. If we feel good about what we have done we will do it again. However reinforcement also comes from external people such as parents and teachers. Vicarious learning can cause problems when it comes to learning through observation. This is because children could copy the punishment that they are getting for being aggressive. This is however only an issue if the punishment is aggressive for example being yelled at as it is an example of aggressive

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