ectiv e of
l Per sp
B iolo gica
r 10, pp. 441
Are we all born with genes for aggression?
Are some individuals more aggressive than others
because their brain functions in a different way?
Is aggression the result of our biological make-up, such as
the presence of certain hormones?
Psychologists who study the relationship between the
body and behaviour have developed various biologically
based theories to explain aggression.
Biological theories suggest that there are some
important physiological factors that combine in various
ways to influence whether an aggressive response will
occur in a particular situation.
Biological influences on aggression can occur through
genetics ( inherited characteristics), through the brain
and nervous system and biochemically (as a result of
various chemical substances in the body).
Both naturally occurring chemicals, such as hormones
and chemicals which are ingested, such as alcohol and
drugs, can affect the parts of the brain that control
The study of the changes
in our brain structures
can affect aggressive
Therefore if we sustain
damage to our brain, this
can have a significant
impact on our tendency
Phineas gage was a road
worker in the mid 19th
Century who was a road
Whilst at work, he was
impaled by a steel rod
which flew through the
air and struck him in the
Surprisingly he survived!
However, Gage’s personality
type changed from passive, to
angry and abusive.
Psychologists identified the
increase in aggressive attitude
and behaviour to have
occurred as a result of the
steel rod damaging his frontal
This was a breakthrough
in the investigation of
aggression, there was
now proof that changes
in brain structure can
Activity 1. Group Work
Task Need to cover
Break into 3 groups. Explain your biological influence.
Each group will be given a different Explain any underlying theories.
‘biological influence’ to investigate.
What research methods are used?
Either: Genetic Influences, Neural
Influences or Biochemical influences. Outline any major experiments or
Your group needs to create a short
PowerPoint presentation on biological Outline any criticisms.
You must provide relevant pictures, it
You will then teach the class about should be eye catching.
your different influences.
You will need to
Activity 10.23 on page
445 of the textbook for
This will ensure that you
will cover all of the
influences on aggression.
ou fo r ha s….
ank y eek
Th las t3w
ove r the