Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Why some people react aggressively without provocation while others don't

Aggressiveness and irritability found to be associated with aggressive behavior even in the absence of provocation
Specific personality variables, such as anger or irritability predict the tendency to either engage in aggressive behavior willingly or to engage in aggressive behavior when provoked, according to a recent meta-analysis in the September issue of Psychological Bulletin, published by the American Psychological Association (APA).

In a review of 63 studies, psychologist Ann Bettencourt, PhD and coauthors Amelia Talley, MA, University of Missouri – Columbia, Arlin James Benjamin, PhD, Panhandle State University, and Jeffery Valentine, PhD, Duke University, examined the association between personality variables and aggressive behavior, under provoking and relatively neutral conditions. The following personality variables were identified: trait aggressiveness, trait irritability, trait anger, Type A personality, dissipation-rumination, emotional susceptibility (tendency to feel inadequate or vulnerable), narcissism, and impulsivity. Study participants ranging from 7 years old to 48 years old were subjected to different types of provoking situations such as verbal insults, frustration in the form of difficult puzzles, physical aggression, loud noises and disparaging comments. Neutral comparison conditions were similar to those in the provoking conditions but lacked insulting, irritating, and frustrating situations.
Persons identified as having an aggressive and irritable personality were more likely to engage in aggressive behavior regardless of whether situations were provoking. “This may suggest that these persons have the capacity to engage in cold-blooded style of aggressive behavior, reacting harshly as a result to little or no agitation” said lead author B. Ann Bettencourt.

The review also found that personality variables, and the level of provocation, interact to influence aggressive behavior. For instance, people who are Type A personalities, have a tendency to express anger (trait anger), have self-destructive tendencies and mull-over upsetting situations, are emotional susceptible, narcissistic and for the most part impulsive were more likely to behave aggressively only under provoking conditions. This type of reaction is considered “hot-blooded” because a person is usually upset by the provoking situation, which induces the aggressive behavior. Bettencourt and her colleagues labeled the two different patterns of associations between personality and aggressive behavior as aggression-prone and provocation-sensitive.

“Problems with aggression and violence continue to plague people’s interpersonal life, their intergroup interactions, and society in general. Social scientists need to develop a better understanding of the complex dynamics among personality variables, situational variables, and aggressive behavior to gain a better understanding of human aggression. The knowledge gained from further research will refine therapeutic and policy interventions aimed at reducing aggression and violence,” stated Bettencourt.

Article: “Personality and Aggressive Behavior Under Provoking and Neutral Conditions: A Meta- Analytic Review,” B. Ann Bettencourt, PhD, Amelia Talley, MA, University of Missouri – Columbia; Arlin James Benjamin, PhD, Panhandle State University; Jeffery Valentine, PhD, Duke University; Psychological Bulletin, Vol.132 No.5.

Carla Daniels | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>