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Is it aggression? Dimensions and definitions of human aggression
Symposium Organizer: Deborah Richardson
Florida Atlantic University

This symposium attempts to clarify distinctions among a variety of aggression-related variables and consider the usefulness and validity of several approaches to measuring such variables. The question to be addressed by the participants and discussants is what are the measures of aggression that are typically used in research actually measuring? Evidence will be presented to demonstrate that aggression is a multi-faceted phenomenon that nevertheless can be measured reliably, using a variety of measurement techniques.

Components of trait anger: Affect, behavior, and cognition
Ren Martin (University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA)
Principal component analyses of 24 trait anger scales yielded three related, but independent dimensions of Angry Affect, Behavioral Aggression, and Cynical Cognition (the "ABC" model).  Each of the three components was uniquely related to the Five-Factor Model.  A self-report scale, newly developed to reflect the ABC model, predicted daily experience reports of angry emotion and interpersonal conflicts.(back to top)

What is indirect aggression? Discriminating between direct and indirect aggression
Deborah P. Richardson (Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL)
The present study examined the empirical and theoretical validity of a measure of indirect aggression. Participants completed questionnaires that measured anger, aggression, and hostility, and theoretically-relevant personality variables. Both direct and indirect aggression related to other aggression-related variables, providing evidence of convergent validity. Direct aggression is associated with willingness to behave assertively, anger expression, and difficulty with inhibiting behavior. Indirect aggression is associated with holding anger in, emotionality, and difficulty with attention control. (back to top)

Can one generalize the results of laboratory aggression studies in the real world?
Brad Bushman (Iowa State University, Ames, IA)
Craig Anderson (University of Missouri, Columbia, MO)
Aggression is defined conceptually as behavior intended to harm others.  When defined operationally, laboratory and "real world" aggression measures seem quite different.  Does aggression mean the same thing inside and outside the laboratory?  To find out, we examined the influence of 5 situational variables (provocation, violent media, alcohol, anonymity, hot temperature) and 3 individual difference variables (sex, Type A personality, trait aggressiveness) in "real world" and laboratory aggression studies.  Results were very consistent across settings.(back to top)