ویژگی های شخصیتی پرخاشگرانه در اثر تصاویر خشونت آمیز بر پرخاشگری تکانشی بدون تحریک
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|36906||2007||19 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Research in Personality, Volume 41, Issue 4, August 2007, Pages 753–771
In a three-factor design varying the aggressive-behavior subtraits of physical aggression (low, high) and hostility (low, high) with exposure to film content (innocuous, violent imagery), respondents were exposed to film segments and thereafter engaged in a teaching task that involved the administration of noxious feedback for unproductive efforts by the learner. A display informed respondents of the intensity of delivered feedback. Instructions were to provide feedback as often as required and of intensities deemed appropriate. However, respondents were also told to refrain from using extremely high intensities, as these intensities would be hurtful to the learner. None of the three independent variables exerted appreciable influence on the frequency of use of recommended feedback. In contrast, the frequency of the use of the disallowed, hurtful feedback was markedly affected. Independent of exposure to film content, men scoring high on hostility used impulsive aggressive responses more frequently than men scoring low on that subtrait. Within the subtrait of physical aggression, however, the degree of trait manifestation proved inconsequential for impulsive aggression, but exposure to the violent film segment resulted in more frequent use of impulsive aggressive responses than exposure to the innocuous film segment.
Reviews of research on the social consequences of exposure to violent imagery in the media of communication, whether solicited from agencies that serve the public interest (e.g., American Psychological Association, 1993 and National Academy of Science, 1993) or deriving from personal initiatives (e.g., Donnerstein et al., 1994 and Heath et al., 1989), have invariably projected a rather undifferentiated facilitation of hostile and aggressive behavior in society. Meta-analyses (e.g., Paik and Comstock, 1994 and Wood et al., 1991) have similarly concentrated on showing that the research summarily gives evidence of aggression facilitation. Although gender differences in the impact of violent imagery were acknowledged in some of these reviews, the impression given is that essentially all individuals are at risk of being influenced, although probably to different degrees. In recent years, however, much research on the influence of media violence has been conducted to overcome the indicated lack of effect specificity and to construct strata along which effects of distinct strength occur or do not at all materialize. Most of this work concerns the personality characteristics of respondents to media violence (cf. Zillmann & Weaver, 1997). Bushman and Geen, 1990 and Bushman, 1996 focused on the moderating effect of the self-ascribed tendency to respond with physical aggression to provocation and established the usefulness of this personality characteristic for the investigation of media-violence effects. Employing the Buss and Perry (1992) procedure to ascertain individual differences in the subtrait of physical aggression (PA), Bushman (1995) showed that persons high in PA trait were more strongly drawn to violent media presentations than were persons low in PA trait. Bushman also showed, this time using the Buss and Durkee (1957) assault subscale, that exposure to media violence fostered aggressive dispositions in persons of high assault trait, but not in persons of low assault trait. Moreover, Bushman assessed aggressive reactions behaviorally within the reaction-time competition procedure (Bond and Lader, 1986 and Taylor and Epstein, 1967) and demonstrated that the subtrait of physical aggression (Buss & Perry, 1992) moderates aggressive responding, as measured by the delivery of noise blasts to the opponent. Respondents high in PA trait, when provoked by intense blasts set by their opponent, delivered blasts of higher intensity after exposure to media violence than after exposure to innocuous material. In contrast, exposure of respondents low in PA trait to these presentations failed to show appreciable differences in blast intensities. Analysis of an unprovoked initial response (i.e. in a situation devoid of the threat of an intense blast from the opponent) largely replicated these findings. To the extent that the sanction of the delivery of noxious noise blasts to another person, which is implicit in the indicated experimental procedure, can be accepted as a simulation of aggression, this latter part of Bushman’s investigation suggests that exposure to media violence facilitates provoked aggressive behavior in persons scoring high, but not in persons scoring low, on the subtrait of physical aggression. It further suggests that unprovoked aggression is similarly facilitated by exposure to media violence. Some inconsistencies in the trait-aggression mediation of asocial reactions to violent media presentations are apparent, however, Kiewitz and Weaver (2001) did not observe greater asocial callousness after respondents’ exposure to violent than non-violent films, and Mathews et al. (2005) similarly failed to obtain differences in antisocial inclinations as a function of either trait aggressiveness or exposure to media violence. A likely reason for such discrepancies in findings is the inconsistent use of trait assessments. The cited research has employed either the complete Buss–Perry aggression scale or selected subscales thereof. In addition, subscales of the earlier Buss–Durkee inventory were employed. This liberal use of different inventories has also plagued research in related areas, such as in the exploration of physiological concomitants of anger and aggressiveness. Nelson et al. (2005) tried to resolve discrepancies caused by the use of subscales from different inventories (Buss and Durkee, 1957, Buss and Perry, 1992 and Cook and Medley, 1954). In their study, trait hostility emerged as a critical mediator of autonomic regulation. Hillbrand et al. (2005), examining risk factors associated with diminished autonomic regulation in anger and aggression, established a clear connection between such factors and high scores on the Buss–Perry subtraits of anger, hostility, and verbal aggression, but not of physical aggression. These findings not only suggest that a preparedness for physical defense is less damaging to health than the harboring of spiteful contempt, but also urge the use of aggression subtraits as autonomous indices that should be combined to an overall index only if they are known to be highly redundant. In light of the significant involvement of trait hostility in the mediation of vital aspects of aggressive behavior, the present investigation involves both the subscale of physical aggression and the apparently pivotal subscale of hostility. This investigation’s objective is threefold. First, it is to discern whether the subtraits of physical aggression and hostility entail a degree of habitual preparedness for aggressive behavior that is not provoked by interpersonal conflict. Second, it is to determine whether exposure to violent imagery can elicit and thus facilitate socially unprovoked, impulsive aggressive reactions, such as in situations of frustration with a task, and whether any elicited reactivity is modified by the subtraits. The focus being on unprovoked physical aggression, the aggression subtraits of anger and verbal aggression were considered to apply, if at all, only remotely and hence were not involved. Third, it is to develop and evaluate a procedure for the measurement of habitual, impulsive aggression that is devoid of premeditation and perpetrated without social sanction. Media-violence research has been partial to working within a provocation-retaliation paradigm (Geen, 1994). Indeed, exposure to media violence has largely failed to show the facilitation of unprovoked aggressive behavior (Zillmann & Johnson, 1973). It would seem premature, however, to conclude that provocation is a necessary condition for aggression facilitation by exposure to violent imagery. After all, a facilitation of unprovoked aggression was observed in some studies (Bushman, 1995). And independently, conditions may exist—like irritability from bad moods or physical ailments, generalized hostility, habitual aggressiveness, or plain frustration with daily challenges—that may prove sufficient stimulation for the evocation of targeted aggressive actions that are in no way provoked by the victim. The evocation of such unprovoked aggressive behavior can be derived from the theory of cognitive priming as advanced by Berkowitz, 1984 and Jo and Berkowitz, 1994. This theory posits that the observation of violence activates existing networks of cognitions that pertain to aggression, that this activation lingers and gives impetus to interpreting subsequent situations in aggressive terms, thereby increasing the likelihood of aggressive action against parties present, including those who pose no appreciable threat. This reasoning has become part and parcel of the more inclusive cognitive-network theories proposed by Anderson and Bushman, 2002 and Huesmann, 1986. But more than others, Berkowitz, 1982 and Berkowitz, 1983 emphasized the involvement of aversion in this activation of cognitions. Specifically, he suggested that it is the aversive component of cognitive primes of aggression that instigates otherwise unmotivated aggressive actions. Frustration and similar irritations are thus viewed as volatile experiential states during which the observation of violence may trigger impulsive aggressive actions. Considering the subtraits of physical aggression and hostility, it may be argued, in accordance with Berkowitz, 1982 and Berkowitz, 1983 and related research demonstrations (Bushman, 1996 and Bushman and Geen, 1990), that persons scoring high in either subtrait, compared to persons scoring low, will have developed more complex cognitive networks pertaining to aggression and thus are more likely to resort to aggressive actions, even when these actions are not socially provoked. It may be expected, however, that persons scoring high on trait hostility are particularly prone to displaying socially unprovoked impulsive aggressive reactivity, as these persons’ persistent discontent and ill will provides the motivation to lash out whenever social opportunities arise (Buss & Perry, 1992). Irritation from, or frustration with, a task at hand may define a sufficient condition for the evocation of aggressive impulsivity in highly hostile persons. Persons scoring high on the trait of physical aggression, in contrast, seem partial to social affront and assault. A glance at the items of this scale should make clear that the preparedness for impulsive aggression concerns hitting back (see Section 2). Although this aggressive preparedness may allow preemptive strikes, it is essentially defensive and retaliatory. It may therefore be expected that persons scoring high on the trait of physical aggression will show strong impulsive aggressive reactivity in response to provocation, but will not display such impulsion when not socially provoked. Irrespective of potential effects of exposure to violent imagery, this reasoning thus leads to the expectation that men scoring high on the hostility subtrait of aggression will engage in socially unprovoked and expressly disallowed impulsive aggressive actions more frequently than men scoring low on that subtrait. No parallel prediction is made for the subtrait of physical aggression. The elicitation of socially unprovoked impulsive aggression may further be examined in emotion-theoretical terms (Zillmann, 1979 and Zillmann, 1988). Such theorizing posits that behavior guidance is mediated by both automatic and deliberate cognitive processes, but explains impulsive behavior as a result of mostly involuntary excitatory reactivity. Specifically, impulsivity is considered to arise as persons meet persisting behavioral challenges. The response to such resistance tends to be experienced as frustration. Part of this experience is an energizing excitatory reaction, manifest in sympathetic activation that favors immediate resolution by action. Impulsivity is thus viewed as a form of impatience that calls for spur-of-the-moment action without adequate reflection (Dickman, 1990). If, during frustration, aggressive behavior is deemed a quick and effective means of impasse resolution, it defines an energetic course of action that is bound to be taken. The intensity of such impulsive aggressive behavior is likely to be influenced by preceding situational circumstances. Specifically, any lingering residual excitation, including that from exposure to arousing films, will enter into excitation instigated by the frustrating challenges and ultimately boost impulsive reactivity (Zillmann, 1996). Concerning impulsivity as a personality characteristic, it may be speculated that persons high in either the subtrait of physical aggression or hostility have developed aggressive habits that are readily triggered by social affront. Research on impulsivity suggests that the formation of these habits may result from hereditary conditions such as impaired noradrenaline and serotonin transmission in limbic structures along with diminished functioning of the prefrontal cortex (Plutchik and van Praag, 1995 and Stein et al., 1995) as well as elevated levels of endogenous systemic catecholamines and androgens (Fredrikson et al., 1991 and Manuck et al., 1981). Considering persons with pronounced subtraits of either physical aggression and hostility, a significant difference in the formation of aggressive habits must be expected nonetheless. This is because persons scoring high on physical aggression prepare for physical actions that serve defense and retaliation, whereas persons scoring high on hostility prepare for a broader range of aggressive actions that serve the expression of their generalized discontent. Exposure to violent, arousing imagery that produces lingering residual excitation may thus be expected to facilitate socially provoked impulsive aggressiveness in those scoring high on either physical aggression or hostility. However, such exposure must be expected to facilitate impulsive aggressiveness that is not socially provoked in those scoring high on hostility, but not in those scoring high on physical aggression. For the effects of exposure to the violent versus innocuous film segments, this reasoning leads to the expectation that men scoring high on the hostility subtrait of aggression will engage in socially unprovoked and expressly disallowed impulsive aggressive actions more frequently after exposure to violent and arousing imagery than after exposure to innocuous and non-arousing imagery. For men scoring low on the hostility subtrait of aggression, this difference will be less pronounced, if not negligible. Again, no parallel prediction is made for the subtrait of physical aggression. As indicated already, most media-violence research has been conducted within a provocation-retaliation paradigm. Provocation was deemed necessary to entice aggressive reactions that are, of course, subject to social censure. In order to overcome the inhibitory consequence of this censure, procedures were devised to sanction aggressive behavior in laboratory situations. A degree of sanction was usually provided by the experimenter’s apparent approval of the administration of noxious stimulation. Additionally, most procedures placed this administration into the service of a sanctioned goal. This social sanction of aggressive actions obviously violates the very conception of aggression as disapproved behavior and therefore has been subject to considerable criticism (Freedman, 1984 and Zillmann and Weaver, 1999). In efforts to improve the construct validity of the measurement of aggressive behavior, Zillmann, Bryant, and Carveth (1981) devised a procedure that removed the implicit sanction of noxious treatments. Research participants were requested to render help in the manual measuring of a confederate’s blood pressure. The participants, who had been provoked by the confederate, were shown how to inflate the BP cuff and explicitly instructed not to over-inflate it, as over-inflation would be hurtful. Over-inflation beyond a specified point served as an unobtrusive measure of deliberate infliction of pain; that is, of aggression as transgressive behavior. The procedure constructed for the present investigation adopts the described removal of the social sanction of aversive actions by expressly discouraging hurtful behavior, but differs in that it provides opportunities for impulsive hurtful behavior. Pumping up a blood-pressure cuff is a behavior that allows ample time for reflection, and it is the involvement of such reflective thought focused on the circumstances of the action that renders the behavior non-impulsive. The same argument applies to a recently employed measure of aggressive behavior that requires the contemplated, planned administration of presumably noxious, highly spicy sauce in the context of a taste test (Lieberman, Solomon, Greenberg, & McGregor, 1999). In order to make hurtful actions impulsive, then, two criteria need be met. First, respondents must be aware of violating sanctioned rules of conduct; and second, they must react instantaneously to situations they seek to influence. The procedure employed in this investigation is designed to accommodate both of these stipulations.