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Aggression in play Adults may think that play is something that is fun and shouldnt be taken seriously Children often take it seriously They may concentrate on something for quite a long time and practice it over and over again Play is a developmental process for children and has important consequences for them For example some activities may help to develop muscles and concentration while others may help develop social skills and to act towards each other Aggression is something that is present in most childrens play in different levels There are a number of definitions of aggression Psychologists refer to hostile aggression which is aggression that is intended to hurt someone or damage something It can be verbal or physical or both Instrumental aggression refers to behaviour that uses aggression to achieve a particular goal and is not used for the purpose of hurting another individual Even very small children can exhibit instrumental aggression usually towards people or objects that prevent the child from achieving a particular goal This type of aggression is not used to hurt the other child Piaget would say that the child was acting in an egocentric way Meaning that the child is thinking only of itself and doesnt recognise the needs and wants of others Some children soon learn how to use hostile aggression They start to tease and call names Social and developmental psychologists have studied the origins of aggression and have found links with both biological and environmental factors Those supporting biological factors show how changing hormone and metabolic levels will alter aggressive behaviour Social learning theorists have shown that social factors can overcome genetic ones
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