توهمات های خشونت آمیز، راهبردهای کنترل فکر و ارتباط آنها با رفتار پرخاشگرانه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|35670||2006||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 41, Issue 8, December 2006, Pages 1397–1407
The present study examined the relations between aggressive fantasies, thought control strategies and aggressive behaviour in a sample of non-clinical female participants (N = 72). First, the nature and prevalence of aggressive fantasies and thought control strategies were examined. Then, the relation between these constructs and aggressive behaviour was studied by means of correlations and regression analysis. Results indicated that aggressive fantasies were a common experience in these non-clinical participants, and that suppression, distraction and cognitive reappraisal were prevalent strategies to control aggressive intrusive thoughts. Most importantly, it was found that thought suppression and aggressive fantasies were positively correlated with aggressive behaviour. A regression analysis underlined the link between thought suppression and aggressive behaviour, but the relation between aggressive fantasies and aggressive behaviour was no longer significant. Further, some indications were found for distraction being an adaptive strategy for controlling aggressive intrusive thoughts.
While extensive research has been conducted on aggression, relatively few studies have focused on thought processes, or feelings and emotions of violent individuals (Doucette-Gates, Firestone, & Firestone, 1999). For example, whereas it is clear that dysfunctional thought processes lie at the core of cognitive therapy – which is one of the current treatment methods for aggression (Goldstein, Nensén, Daleflod, & Kalt, 2004) – instruments for assessing aggression-related cognition are sparse (Doucette-Gates et al., 1999). In a similar vein, many risk factors have been identified for aggressive behaviour, such as disruptive behaviour during childhood, substance use problems, and psychopathy (e.g., Webster, Douglas, Eaves, & Hart, 1997). However, surprisingly little attention has been directed at the construct of aggression itself, or more specifically, at the cognitive processes underlying aggressive behaviour. Some studies have shown that aggressive thoughts, aggressive feelings or aggressive attitudes are related to aggressive behaviour. For instance, aggressive beliefs and hostile responses to hypothetical scenarios about being harassed by peers have been shown to be connected to aggressive behaviour in adolescents (Bellmore, Witkow, Graham, & Juvonen, 2005). In addition, research in non-clinical participants (Archer & Haigh, 1997) has demonstrated that instrumental beliefs about aggression (aggression as a way of controlling others) are positively associated with the use of physical and verbal aggression, and expressions of anger and hostility as measured by the Aggression Questionnaire (AQ; Buss & Perry, 1992). In contrast, expressive beliefs about aggression (aggression as a loss of control) were negatively correlated to physical aggression. Finally, it has been found that the frequency of four different types of negative thoughts was significantly higher for violent individuals as compared to non-violent individuals (Doucette-Gates et al., 1999). Huesmann, 1988 and Huesmann, 1998 proposed an information-processing model to explain the development of aggressive behaviour in early childhood. In this model, cognitive processes play an important role. Huesmann assumes that in order to process information from the environment adequately and rapidly, a number of different programs or scripts are formed. Memories about experiences at an early age are clustered and stored in different scripts. Each time a person encounters a social problem, cues from the environment are evaluated and a search in memory is performed to find the appropriate script to guide behaviour. The scripts suggest what is likely to happen in the situation, what the person should do in response to these events, and what the likely outcome of this behaviour will be. Huesmann, 1988 and Huesmann, 1998 model predicts that aggressive behaviour will occur when aggressive scripts are retrieved and activated. The regular activation of aggressive scripts implies, above all, that a large number of aggressive scripts have become stored in memory. Therefore, it is important to look at the process by which scripts are constructed. First, the initial encoding of the observed behaviour takes place. This involves creating a representation of the experience in memory. Second, to maintain the initial encoding in memory, a script needs to be rehearsed regularly. Rehearsal involves mechanisms varying from simply recalling the original scene, to fantasizing, ruminating and play-acting. As a child fantasizes, elaborated connections to the script are generated, additional links to other concepts in memory are created, and the links within the scripts become strengthened. The scripts become more firmly represented and integrated in memory, thereby increasing the chance of reactivation in numerous situations. In this manner, aggressive scripts become the main template for response (Huesmann, 1988 and Huesmann, 1998). As described above, rehearsal is considered as one of the key variables through which scripts become intensified and stored in memory (Huesmann, 1988 and Huesmann, 1998). From this it can be hypothesized that variables involving rehearsal or repetition should be connected to aggressive behaviour. The present study examined two of such variables, namely aggressive fantasies and thought control strategies. Only a few studies have examined the relation between aggressive fantasies and aggressive behaviour. For instance, Grisso, Davis, Vesselinov, Appelbaum, and Monahan (2000) found that self-reported aggressive fantasies were related to violent acts, anger, impulsiveness, and psychopathy. Similarly, in a study by Greenwald and Harder (1997), hostile-aggressive daydreams were related to an angry coping style. The present study was an attempt to further examine the connection between aggressive fantasies and aggressive behaviour. In keeping with Huesmann, 1988 and Huesmann, 1998 theory, it was expected that self-reported aggressive fantasies would be positively related to aggressive behaviour. The research on thought control strategies and their effect on behaviour has expanded greatly since the introduction of the thought suppression paradigm (Wegner, Schneider, Carter, & White, 1987). In short, results from this line of research have shown that suppression of unwanted thoughts results in an increase of the frequency of such thoughts. The counterproductive nature of thought suppression is illustrated in the so-called rebound effect, which can be defined as an increase in the frequency of unwanted thoughts as soon as suppression attempts are ceased (e.g., Abramowitz et al., 2001, Rassin, 2005 and Wegner, 1994). In a study by Nagtegaal and Rassin (2004), preliminary evidence was obtained for a connection between thought suppression and aggression. More precisely, the tendency to suppress intrusive thoughts was significantly related to the psychopathic deviate scale of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2; Butcher, Dahlstrom, Graham, Tellegen, & Kaemmer, 1989) and the aggression subscale of the Eysenck Personality Profiler (EPP; Eysenck, Wilson, & Jackson, 1996). The work by Wegner and colleagues inspired Wells and Davies (1994) to examine thought control processes more thoroughly. These researchers constructed the Thought Control Questionnaire (TCQ) to assess individual differences in the use of five types of thought control strategies, namely distraction, social coping, punishment, re-appraisal, and worrying. Research has shown that some thought control strategies, namely distraction and social coping result in a decrease of unwanted thoughts, and appear to be adaptive in nature (e.g., Abramowitz et al., 2003 and McKay and Greisberg, 2002), whereas other strategies, worry and punishment, are less effective and result in an increase of unwanted thoughts (e.g., Amir et al., 1997, McKay and Greisberg, 2002 and Wells and Davies, 1994). The nature of re-appraisal is less clear. Some studies (e.g., Abramowitz et al., 2003 and Wells and Davies, 1994) found a positive whereas other studies (e.g., Rassin & Diepstraten, 2003) found a negative relation between re-appraisal and measures of psychopathology. Wells and Davies (1994) concluded that when re-appraisal is flexible and periodic it may be fruitful, whereas re-appraisal when used in a rigid and preservative manner may be dysfunctional in nature. The second goal of the present study was to further explore the relation between thought control strategies and aggression. It was hypothesized that suppression and the thought control strategies of worry and punishment would be positively connected to aggressive behaviour, whereas the strategies of social coping and distraction would be negatively related to aggression. For re-appraisal, no specific expectations were formulated. In summary, the present study examined relations between aggressive fantasies and thought control strategies on the one hand, and self-reported aggressive behaviour on the other hand. The inclusion of two types of cognitive factors that might play a role in the exacerbation of aggression, also made it possible to examine the relative contributions of these factors to aggressive behaviour.