Samji, K., & Vasquez, E. (2019). The link between myths about sexual aggression and sexual objectification via hostile attitudes toward women. Journal of Sexual Aggression. doi:10.1080/13552600.2019.1676924
Sexual objectification of women is linked to a variety of negative attitudes and behaviour towards them, including myths about sexual aggression. The aim of the study was to examine the link between myths about sexual aggression and sexual objectification through hostile attitudes towards women. A sample of students and non-students (N = 165) completed a questionnaire that included the Acceptance of Modern Rape Myths about Sexual Aggression Scale, the Interpersonal Sexual Objectification Scale-Perpetrator Version, and a measure of hostility towards women. The results indicated that acceptance of myths about sexual aggression was positively correlated with sexual objectification and hostility towards women. In addition, acceptance of myths about sexual aggression was indirectly related to sexual objectification via hostile attitudes towards women. We discuss the implications of our findings for the relationship between the negative perceptions and treatment of women, particularly those relating to sexualised attitudes and rape myth acceptance.
Vasquez, E., Ball, L., Loughnan, S., & Pina, A. (2017). The Object of My Aggression: Sexual Objectification Increases Physical Aggression Towards Women. Aggressive Behavior, 44, 5-17. doi:10.1002/ab.21719
Objectification involves reducing someone to a sexual object, rather than seeing themas a full person. Despite numerous theoretical claims that people are more aggressivetoward the objectified, and empirical evidence that objectification is linked to highwillingness to aggress, rape proclivity, and aggressive attitudes, no research hasexamined a causal link between objectification and physical aggression, particularly inthe context of provocation. In two experiments, we examined this predicted link. InExperiment 1, using a 2 (objectification: no/yes) × 2 (provocation: no/yes) factorialbetween-subjects design, we investigated the effects of objectification, induced viabody focus during a face-to-face interaction, and provocation on physical aggressiontoward a female confederate. Our results revealed a significant main effect ofprovocation, a marginal main effect of objectification, and a significant interactionbetween these variables. In the absence of a provocation, focusing on a woman’s bodyincreased aggression toward her. Experiment 2 replicated Experiment 1 using a videoof a target woman instead of a face-to-face interaction. Again, our results showed asignificant two-way interaction between objectification and provocation, whereinobjectification increased aggression in the absence of provocation. Overall, thisresearch indicates that objectification can lead to heightened physical aggressiontoward objectified women.
Ruddle, A., Pina, A., & Vasquez, E. (2017). Domestic violence offending behaviors: A review of the literature examining childhood exposure, implicit theories, trait aggression and anger rumination as predictive factors. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 34, 154-165. doi:10.1016/j.avb.2017.01.016
The prevalence of domestic violence (DV) is an increasing public health concern globally. This paper outlines the current literature on what is known about DV proclivity, with particular attention to predictors for DV perpetration from childhood. We begin by reviewing key methodological issues that are inherent within DV literature and hinder the development of interventions and treatments for DV offenders. The main body of this article provides an overview of four main predictive components for DV perpetration: (1) developmental risk factors for DV offending (e.g. childhood exposure to DV); (2) specific implicit theories related to sexual, violent and DV offenders; (3) the role of anger rumination as a psychological process of DV offending; and (4) an exploration of the role of trait aggression in increasing DV Proclivity. Finally, it was concluded that there is a need for the development of a psychometric measure to encompass these four key predictors of DV Proclivity and future offending.
Vasquez, E., Osinnowo, K., Pina, A., Ball, L., & Bell, C. (2016). The sexual objectification of girls and aggression towards them in gang and non-gang affiliated youth. Psychology, Crime, and Law, 23, 459-471. doi:10.1080/1068316X.2016.1269902
Sexual objectification is related to various negative attitudes and outcomes, including rape proclivity and reduced moral concern for the objectified, which suggests that objectification has implications for aggression. Our study examined the relationship between objectification and general aggressive behaviour in adolescents, including gang-affiliated youth. We hypothesized that 1) objectification would correlate with aggression towards girls, 2) gang affiliation would correlate with objectification and aggression towards girls, and 3) objectification and gang affiliation would interact such that strongly affiliated participants who objectified girls would be most aggressive towards them. We also hypothesized that sexual objectification would be a significant predictor of aggression above and beyond other factors, such as trait aggression. As predicted, objectification correlated with aggression towards girls and with gang affiliation, which also correlated with aggression. In addition, objectification predicted aggression towards girls, after controlling for other relevant factors. Further, we found an objectification x gang affiliation interaction, which differed from our original predictions. Among participants low in gang affiliation, objectification of girls predicted levels of aggression towards them. Among those high in gang affiliation, however, objectification did not predict aggression. We discussed the implications of our findings for general aggression.
Vasquez, E., & Howard-Field, J. (2016). Too (mentally) busy to chill: Cognitive load and inhibitory cues interact to moderate triggered displaced aggression. Aggressive Behavior, 42, 598-604. doi:10.1002/ab.21654
Inhibitory information can be expected to reduce triggered displaced aggression by signaling the potential for negative consequences as a result of acting aggressively. We examined how cognitive load might interfere with these aggression-reducing effects of inhibitory cues. Participants (N?=?80) were randomly assigned to a condition in a 2 (cognitive load: high/low)?×?2 (inhibiting cues: yes/no) between-subjects design. Following procedures in the TDA paradigm, participants received an initial provocation from the experimenter and a subsequent triggering annoyance from another individual. In the inhibitory cue condition, participants were told, before they had the opportunity to aggress, that others would learn of their aggressive responses. In the high cognitive load condition, participants rehearsed a 10-digit number while aggressing. Those in the low cognitive load condition rehearsed a three digit number. We found significant main effects of cognitive load and inhibitory cue, which were qualified by the expected load?×?inhibitory cue interaction. Thus, inhibitory cues reduced displaced aggression under low-cognitive load. However, when participants in the inhibitory cue condition were under cognitive load, aggression increased, suggesting that mental busyness interfered with the full use of inhibitory information.
Garcia-Sancho, E., Salguero, J., Vasquez, E., & Fernandez-Berrocal, P. (2016). Validity and reliability of the Spanish version of the Displaced Aggression Questionnaire. Psicothema, 28, 96-101. doi:10.7334/psicothema2015.222
The Displaced Aggression Questionnaire (DAQ) is an
instrument that assesses personality differences in the tendency to displace
aggression. This scale is composed of three factors: angry rumination
(as affective dimension), revenge planning (as cognitive dimension),
and general tendency to engage in displaced aggression (as a behavioral
dimension). The present study examined the validity and reliability of
the Spanish version of the DAQ. Method: The sample consisted of 429
student and non-student participants. Results: The results showed good
psychometric properties, and factor analyses revealed a clear three-factor
structure. Further, preliminary data about associations between DAQ
scores and indirect aggression and emotion regulation strategies are
shown. Conclusions: The scale presents adequate evidence for potential
use in a Spanish population. We discuss its utility for research on different
types of aggression (e.g., domestic abuse).
Vasquez, E., Wenborne, L., Peers, M., Alleyne, E., & Ellis, K. (2015). Any of them will do: In-group identification, out-group entitativity, and gang membership as predictors of group based retribution. Aggressive Behavior, 41, 242-252. doi:10.1002/ab.21581
Members of street gangs can engage in group-based or vicarious retribution, which occurs when a member of a group aggresses against out-group members in retaliation for a previous attack against the in-group, even if the avenging person was not victimized and the targets of revenge were not directly involved in the original attack. In non-gang populations, the degree of identification with an in-group and perceptions of out-group entitativity, the perception of an out-group as bonded or unified, are important contributors to group-based aggression. The link between these factors and group-based aggression, however, has not been examined in the context of street gangs. The current study assessed the relationship among in-group identification, perceptions of out-group entitativity, and the willingness to retaliate against members of rival groups who did not themselves attack the in-group among juvenile gang and non-gang members in London. Our results showed the predicted membership (gang/non-gang) x in-group identification x entitativity interaction. Decomposition of the three-way interaction by membership revealed a significant identification x entitativity interaction for gang, but not for non-gang members. More specifically, gang members who identify more strongly with their gang and perceived a rival group as high on entitativity were more willing to retaliate against any of them. In addition, entitativity was a significant predictor of group-based aggression after controlling for gender, in-group identification, and gang membership. Our results are consistent with socio-psychological theories of group-based aggression and support the proposal that such theories are applicable for understanding gang-related violence.
Pedersen, W., Vasquez, E., Bartholow, B., Grosvenor, M., & Truong, A. (2014). Are you insulting me? Exposure to alcohol primes increases aggression following ambiguous provocation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40, 1037-1049. doi:10.1177/0146167214534993
Considerable research has shown that alcohol consumption can increase aggression and produce extremes in other social behaviors. Although most theories posit that such effects are caused by pharmacological impairment of cognitive processes, recent research indicates that exposure to alcohol-related constructs, in the absence of consumption, can produce similar effects. Here we tested the hypothesis that alcohol priming is most likely to affect aggression in the context of ambiguous provocation. Experiment 1 showed that exposure to alcohol primes increased aggressive retaliation but only when an initial provocation was ambiguous; unambiguous provocation elicited highly aggressive responses regardless of prime exposure. Experiment 2 showed that alcohol prime exposure effects are relatively short-lived and that perceptions of the provocateur’s hostility mediated effects of prime exposure on aggression. These findings suggest modification and extension of existing models of alcohol-induced aggression
Gannon, T., Wood, J., Pina, A., Tyler, N., Barnoux, M., & Vasquez, E. (2014). An Evaluation of Mandatory Polygraph Testing for Sexual Offenders in the United Kingdom. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 26, 178-203. doi:10.1177/1079063213486836
Objective: This research examined whether a government-initiated pilot project of mandatory polygraph testing would increase the disclosures made by community-supervised sexual offenders in the UK. Method: The Offender Managers of 332 pilot polygraph sexual offenders and 303 sexual offenders who were receiving usual community supervision were telephoned quarterly, over a 21 month period, to collect information about numbers of clinically relevant disclosures, the seriousness of disclosures made, and actions taken as a result of disclosures. Perceptions of polygraph usefulness were also collected. Results: Offender Managers in the pilot polygraph group—compared to comparison Offender Managers—reported (1) a higher proportion of offenders making at least one disclosure (i.e., 76.5% versus 51.2% respectively), and (2) that their offenders made more total disclosures overall (Ms = 2.60 versus 1.25 respectively). The majority of disclosures made by sexual offenders in the polygraph group were associated with the polygraph session itself. Polygraph Offender Managers reported being more likely to take an action that involved increasing supervision, informing a third party, informing MAPPA, changing supervision focus, or issuing a warning to the offender. However, the relative seriousness of disclosures did not appear to differ across groups. In terms of polygraph test results, one third of offenders (most notably those who were higher in risk) failed their first test with ‘Deception Indicated’. This outcome—received on a first test—was most likely to elicit clinically relevant disclosures. Offender Managers described the polygraph as aiding supervision strategies. Conclusions: This research and its associated caveats are discussed.
Vasquez, E., Loughnan, S., Gootjes-Dreesbach, E., & Weger, U. (2014). The animal in you: Animalistic descriptions of a violent crime increase punishment of perpetrator. Aggressive Behavior, 40, 337-344. doi:10.1002/ab.21525
Criminal acts are sometimes described using animal metaphors. What is the impact of a violent crime being described in an animalistic versus a non-animalistic way on the subsequent retribution toward the perpetrator? In two studies, we experimentally varied animalistic descriptions of a violent crime and examined its effect on the severity of the punishment for the act. In Study 1, we showed that compared to non-animalistic descriptions, animalistic descriptions resulted in significantly harsher punishment for the perpetrator. In Study 2, we replicated this effect and further demonstrated that this harsher sentencing is explained by an increase in perceived risk of recidivism. Our findings suggest that animalistic descriptions of crimes lead to more retaliation against the perpetrator by inducing the perception that he is likely to continue engaging in violence.
Loughnan, S., Pina, A., Vasquez, E., & Puvia, E. (2013). Sexual Objectification Increases Rape Victim Blame and Decreases Perceived Suffering. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 37, 455-461. doi:10.1177/0361684313485718
Sexual objectification changes the way people view women by reducing them to sexual objects—denied humanity and an internal mental life, as well as deemed unworthy of moral concern. However, the subsequent consequences of sexually objectifying others remain underresearched. In the current study, we examined the impact of objectification in the domain of sexual assault. Sixty British undergraduate students were recruited to complete an impression formation task. We manipulated objectification by presenting participants with either a sexualized or nonsexualized woman. Participants rated the woman’s mind and the extent to which they felt moral concern for her. They then learned that she was the victim of an acquaintance rape and reported victim blame and both blatant and subtle perceptions of her suffering. Consistent with prior research, sexualized women were objectified through a denial of mental states and moral concern. Further, compared with nonobjectified women, the objectified were perceived to be more responsible for being raped. Interestingly, although no difference emerged for blatant measures of suffering, participants tacitly denied the victims’ suffering by exhibiting changes in moral concern for the victim. We conclude that objectification has important consequences for how people view victims of sexual assault. Our findings reveal that sexual objectification can have serious consequences and we discuss how these might influence how victims cope and recover from sexual assault.
De Burca, C., Miles, H., & Vasquez, E. (2013). Substance use amongst mentally disordered offenders in medium security: prevalence and relationship to offending behaviour. British Journal of Forensic Practice, 15, 259-268. doi:10.1108/JFP-08-2012-0010
Vasquez, E., William C. Pedersen, P., Bushman, B., Kelley, N., Demeestere, P., & Miller, N. (2013). Lashing Out after Stewing over Public Insults: The Effects of Public Provocation, Provocation Intensity, and Rumination on Triggered Displaced Aggression. Aggressive Behavior, 39, 13-29. doi:10.1002/ab.21453
Four studies present the first evidence showing that public (vs. private) provocation augments triggered displaced aggression by increasing the perceived intensity of the provocation. This effect is shown to be independent of face-saving motivation. Following a public or private provocation, Study 1 participants were induced to ruminate or were distracted for 20 min. They then had an opportunity to aggress against another person who either acted in a neutral or mildly annoying fashion (viz. triggering event). As expected, the magnitude of the greater displaced aggression of those who ruminated before the triggering event compared with those distracted was greater under public than private provocation. Study 2 replicated the findings of Study 1 and confirmed that public provocations are experienced as more intense. Studies 3 and 4 both manipulated provocation intensity directly to show that it mediated the moderating effect of public/private provocation found in Study 1. The greater intensity of a public provocation increases reactivity to a subsequent trigger, which in turn, augments triggered displaced aggression.
Joyce, C., Dillane, J., & Vasquez, E. (2013). The role of anger in offending: a grounded theory analysis of mentally disordered patients. Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology, 24, 247-268. doi:10.1080/14789949.2013.773454
The relationship between anger, violence and offending is not well understood; there is debate in the current literature regarding the nature of this relationship. This issue is of importance because of the widespread use of anger management programmes as a means to reduce anger-mediated offending. This study specifically examined the role of anger in offending behaviour for patients with coexisting problems with anger and psychosis. Grounded theory was used to analyse patients’ file data from an Anger Management and Emotion Regulation programme in a Medium Secure Unit. Grounded theory analysis allowed for a theory of offending to be generated, showing what concepts contribute to offending and thereby determining the role anger plays in offending in mentally disordered patients. Anger, mental illness, substance misuse and social issues were recognised as contributing factors to offending behaviour. This provides justification for managing anger in order to prevent reoffending.
Vasquez, E., Osman, S., & Wood, J. (2012). Rumination and the displacement of aggression in United Kingdom gang-affiliated youth. Aggressive Behavior, 38, 89-97. doi:10.1002/ab.20419
The concept of gang aggression oftentimes elicits images of brutal intergang violence. In reality, gang-related aggression can vary
widely, can have various motivations and causal factors, and includes interpersonal as well as intergroup aggression. This study
examined the tendency of UK youth to engage in displaced aggression (aggression aimed at undeserving targets) and examined
the relationship among gang affiliation, ruminative thought, and aggression levels. Students in three London schools were asked
to complete a questionnaire that assessed levels of gang affiliation, rumination about aversive events, and a tendency to engage in
displaced aggression. Our analyses found a three-way interaction between gang affiliation, rumination, and gender, such that males
who were high in affiliation and rumination had the greatest tendency to displace aggression toward innocent others. Additionally, it
was shown that rumination could account for a significant part of the correlation between gang affiliation and displaced aggression.
Furthermore, regression analyses showed that even after controlling for trait aggression, anger, hostility, and irritability, rumination
remained a significant predictor of displaced aggression. The implications for understanding gang-related aggression and for
conducting future research in this area were discussed
Pedersen, W., Denson, T., Goss, R., Vasquez, E., Kelley, N., & Miller, N. (2011). The impact of rumination on aggressive thoughts, feelings, arousal, and behaviour. British Journal of Social Psychology, 50, 281-301. doi:10.1348/014466610X515696
Although rumination following a provocation can increase aggression, no research has examined the processes responsible for this phenomenon. With predictions derived from the General Aggression Model, three experiments explored the impact of two types of post-provocation rumination on the processes whereby rumination augments aggression. In Experiment 1, relative to distraction, self-focused rumination uniquely increased the accessibility of arousal cognition, whereas provocation-focused rumination uniquely amplified the accessibility of aggressive action cognition. In Experiment 2, provocation-focused rumination uniquely increased systolic blood pressure. In Experiment 3, both types of rumination increased aggressive behaviour relative to a distraction condition. Angry affect partially mediated the effects of both provocation- and self-focused rumination on aggression. Self-critical negative affect partially mediated the effect of self-focused rumination but not provocation-focused rumination. These findings suggest that provocation-focused rumination influences angry affect, aggressive action cognition, and cardiovascular arousal, whereas self-focused rumination increases self-critical negative affect, angry affect, and arousal cognition. These studies enhance our understanding of why two types of post-provocation rumination increase aggressive behaviour.
Vasquez, E., Lickel, B., & Hennigan, K. (2010). Gangs, displaced, and group-based aggression. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 15, 130-140. doi:10.1016/j.avb.2009.08.001
Many urban areas experienced an alarming growth of gang activity and violence during the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st centuries. Gang members, motivated by various factors, commit a variety of different types of violent acts towards rivals and other targets. Our focus involves instances of displaced aggression, which generally refers to situations in which aggression is targeted towards individuals who have either not themselves committed an offense against the aggressor (s), or who provide an offense that is too mild to justify the aggression levels that are expressed towards them. We discuss how social–psychological mechanisms and models of two types of displaced aggression might help explain some aspects of the retaliatory behavior that is expressed by members of street gangs. We also propose general techniques that have the potential to reduce such aggressive behavior.
Vasquez, E. (2009). Cognitive load, trigger salience, and the facilitation of triggered displaced aggression. European Journal of Social Psychology, 39, 684-693. doi:10.1002/ejsp.566
Researchers hypothesize that a state of limited cognitive processing capacity increases aggression. In the context of the triggered displaced aggression (TDA) paradigm, a 2 (Salience of triggering event: high/low)?×?2 (Cognitive load at trigger: yes/no)?×?2 (Cognitive load at aggression: yes/no) between participants experiment tested this hypothesis. Results showed that inducing cognitive load in previously provoked participants while they received a triggering provocation augmented aggression toward the target when the latter was highly salient. Affective reactions to the trigger partially mediated this effect. In contrast to expectation, however, inducing cognitive load while participants aggressed against their target did not affect aggression levels.
Denson, T., Aviles, F., Pollock, V., Earleywine, M., Vasquez, E., & Miller, N. (2008). The effects of alcohol and the salience of aggressive cues on triggered displaced aggression. Aggressive Behavior, 34, 25-33. doi:doi:10.1002/ab.20177
Alcohol increases the aggression-augmenting effects of provocation. Theories of alcohol and aggression suggest that impaired cognitive processing induced by acute intoxication leads individuals to process aggression-inducing social cues differently depending on whether they are high or low in salience. We examined the effects of intoxication and aggressive cue salience within the triggered displaced aggression paradigm. An ethnically diverse sample of 74 primarily young adult participants (40 men and 34 women; M=23.28, SD=3.14 years) were recruited from the university community and surrounding area. All participants were provoked by an experimenter, randomly assigned to a 2 (alcohol condition: alcohol vs. placebo) × 2 (trigger salience: high vs. low salience) between-subjects design, and then given the opportunity to aggress against the undeserving triggering agent. As expected, intoxication combined with a salient triggering cue elicited the most displaced aggression among all conditions. These results provide the first evidence that the effect of alcohol on triggered displaced aggression is moderated by the salience of the triggering event.
Pedersen, W., Bushman, B., Vasquez, E., & Miller, N. (2008). Kicking the (Barking) Dog Effect: The Moderating Role of Target Attributes on Triggered Displaced Aggression. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 1382-1395. doi:10.1177/0146167208321268
Sometimes aggression is displaced onto a target who is not totally innocent but emits a mildly irritating behavior called a triggering event. In three experiments, the authors examine stable personal attributes of targets that can impact such triggered displaced aggression (TDA). Lower levels of TDA were directed to targets whose attitudes were similar as compared to dissimilar to those of the actor (Experiment 1) and to targets who were ingroup as compared to out-group members (Experiment 2). Conceptually replicating the findings of Experiments 1 and 2, the manipulated valence of the target (viz., liked, neutral, and disliked) functioned in a similar manner, with positive valence serving a buffering function against a triggering action that followed an initial provocation (Experiment 3). The results from all three experiments are consistent with cognitive neoassociationist theory.
Vasquez, E., Bartsch, V., Pedersen, W., & Miller, N. (2007). The impact of aggressive priming, rumination, and frustration on prison sentencing. Aggressive Behavior, 33, 477-485. doi:10.1002/ab.20203
We tested the hypothesis that ruminating about a previous aggressive prime interacts with a subsequent minor frustration to augment aggression. Sixty participants watched a video showing a murder during a bank robbery (the aggressive prime). Those in the rumination condition were asked to write about the video for 20?min. In the no rumination condition, participants were given 20?min to complete an irrelevant task. Participants were then either frustrated or not frustrated. Our results supported the main hypothesis. Relative to the control condition, neither rumination nor frustration alone impacted aggression. Rumination, in combination with a minor frustration, however, increased the recommended prison sentence towards the targets. We discuss the implications of our findings.
Vasquez, E., Ensari, N., Pedersen, W., Tan, R., & Miller, N. (2007). Personalization and differentiation as moderators of triggered displaced aggression towards out-group targets. European Journal of Social Psychology, 37, 297-319. doi:10.1002/ejsp.359
Two studies examined the reduction of triggered displaced aggression (TDA) via bottom-up processing modes of de-categorization. Participants were provoked by the experimenter and then interacted with an ostensible out-group member who either did or did not provide a second (triggering) provocation. Study 1 compared TDA toward a triggering out-group member who had previously been either differentiated from the out-group, made the focus of self-other comparison, or was in a no-information control condition. As predicted, both differentiation and self-other comparison reduced aggression relative to the control condition. Study 2 examined the effect of negative self-disclosure from the out-group target, and contrasted its effects with both self-other comparison with a negative other, and a no-information control condition. As predicted, triggered participants in the negative self-disclosure condition aggressed less than those triggered in the negative self-other comparison or no-information control conditions. The liking induced by self-disclosure mediated its aggression-reducing effect.
Bushman, B., Bonacci, A., Pedersen, W., Vasquez, E., & Miller, N. (2005). Chewing on It Can Chew You Up: Effects of Rumination on Triggered Displaced Aggression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 88, 969-983. doi:10.1037/0022-3518.104.22.1689
Ruminating about a provocation increases the likelihood of displaced aggression following a minor annoyance (trigger). In Study 1, provoked participants who ruminated for 25 min were more aggressive toward a fumbling confederate than were distracted participants. Provocation-induced negative affect was positively related to aggression but only among those who ruminated. Study 2 conceptually replicated Study 1 and also found that the more negatively people reacted to the trigger, the more likely the trigger was to increase displaced aggression. Study 3 replicated the findings of Studies 1 and 2 by using an 8-hr rumination period. All 3 studies suggest that ruminating about a provocation increases the likelihood that a minor triggering annoyance will increase displaced aggression.
Vasquez, E., Denson, T., Pedersen, W., Stenstrom, D., & Miller, N. (2005). The moderating effect of trigger intensity on triggered displaced aggression. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 41, 61-67. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2004.05.007
Many instances of aggression result in excessive retaliation in response to a seemingly trivial triggering event. The triggered displaced aggression paradigm (TDA; Miller, Pedersen, Earleywine, & Pollock, 2003) provides an experimental vehicle for exploring such occurrences. Participants were either provoked or not and were subsequently exposed to a neutral, mild, or moderately strong triggering event from a second bogus participant. Consistent with TDA theory (Miller et al., 2003), disjunctively escalated aggressive behavior occurred only among previously provoked participants when responding to the mild triggering event, but not the moderately strong or neutral trigger. Independent of provocation, the neutral triggering event elicited very low levels of aggression, whereas the moderately strong trigger elicited moderate levels of aggression. Implications for instances of real world aggression are discussed.
Ensari, N., Kenworthy, J., Urban, L., Canales, C., Vasquez, E., Kim, D., & Miller, N. (2004). Negative Affect and Political Sensitivity in Crossed Categorization: Self-Reports versus EMG. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 7, 55-75. doi:10.1177/1368430204039973
We experimentally examined the effects of negative integral affect on preferences among the
double in-group (ii), crossed (io and oi), and double out-group (oo) targets of the crossed
categorization paradigm. We used insults from members of politically sensitive vs. non-sensitive
out-group categories of a crossed target (Oi) to induce affect. Dependent measures included
self-reports and a psycho-physiological measure of affect (facial electromyography, EMG).
Under no insult, participants conformed to social desirability pressure and favorably evaluated
targets with a politically sensitive out-group membership, whereas facial EMG measures
indicated greater negativity toward those same targets. Negativity of self-report and facial EMG
measures converged, however, when members of a politically sensitive out-group category had
provided hostility-justifying insults.