Drawing on examples from Chapters 3, 6 and 7 of your module textbook, examine and assess the role of environment in human behaviour and performance
The term environment refers to the cultural and social aspects that shape our lives both as a population and as a person. Research has examined the influence of different factors on human behaviour and performance, external factors depend on a persons upbringing, culture and the influence they receive from their peers. The environment in which we live has a considerable impact on our behaviour and performance, three of which will be explored in more detail. The first being Albert Bandura's study with 'Bobo dolls' and the effect violence has on a child's behaviour. Whilst also looking at how friendships are built and the different peer pressures we face as children and adolescents and how the friendships we build can influence behaviour and performance whilst also defining who we are. The third type will be looking at the effects of a stroke on the brain and the way in which it recovers and reprogram's itself.
Social learning is described as learning new behaviours by observing others. These behaviours being observed can be of good or bad behaviour. There are certain things that can influence human behaviours, for example media violence, films, TV and computer games. Today the internet is powerful and has the power to influence behaviour, online games portray extreme violence that both children and adults can participate in. With technology becoming more advanced and the digital world available more easily to young people it is becoming a concern that this is having a serious effect on attitudes towards violence, in the sense of what is the correct way to behave and what is not (Oates, 2010, p. 103).
Albert Bandura conducted an experiment to find out if there was a relationship between children witnessing violence and them carrying out violent acts. He observed the children within four different groups to allow him to see the affect of certain variables on their behaviour. He used a 'model' to act aggressively towards a blow up doll in a variety of scenes including both live and filmed models. He then observed the children's behaviour towards the doll after they had witnessed the 'model' behaving violently. His results showed that exposure to these displays of aggression by both types of models led to aggressive behaviour and highlighted that there is a key link between the media and children's behaviour. Human behaviour can be influenced by seeing violent acts, however the result from the study observed that it depends on the gender of the child and who has performed the violent act, for example male, female, cartoon or human (Oates, 2010, p. 110 & 111).
Bandura et al study is one of the first experiments to measure the effects of media on behaviour. There is a strong correlation between the amount of aggression a child shows and what violence they have just witnessed. However there are reasons why observing a correlation can not always show the correct results. A correlation doesn't inform us of what the direction of effect may be. Instead of a child acting violently because of what they have seen, it could be that they were already an aggressive child and were seeking to watch violent content or play violent online games. A correlation also doesn't tell us if there is a third factor in the behaviour. A child could be at home with a violent parent and violent videos may be easily accessible to them. Here the environment at home could account for both the aggressive child and the exposure to the media content (Oates, 2010, p.120 & 121).
Friendships are an important influence on behaviour, this can be in both a positive and negative way. Those first friendships formed in school can be very important and influential in the way children experience their start to school life. Throughout life friends can influence children and adults in the way they behave as peer...
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