Send to

Choose Destination
J Pers Soc Psychol. 2000 Apr;78(4):670-89.

Displaced aggression is alive and well: a meta-analytic review.

Author information

Department of Psychology, Scripps College, Claremont, California 91711, USA.


Content analysis of 122 social psychology textbooks confirmed that displaced aggression received a surge of attention immediately following J. Dollard, L. W. Doob, N. E. Miller, O. H. Mowrer, and R. R. Sears (1939), but subsequent interest sharply declined. Contemporary texts give it little attention. By contrast, meta-analysis of the experimental literature confirms that it is a robust effect (mean effect size = +0.54). Additionally, moderator analyses showed that: (a) The more negative the setting in which the participant and target interacted, the greater the magnitude of displaced aggression; (b) in accord with N. E. Miller's (1948) stimulus generalization principle, the more similar the provocateur and target, the more displaced aggression; and (c) consistent with the contrast effect (L. Berkowitz & D. A. Knurek, 1969), the intensity of initial provocation is inversely related to the magnitude of displaced aggression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Psychological Association
Loading ...
Support Center