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J Pers Soc Psychol. 1990 Apr;58(4):622-33.

Effects of situational aggression cues: a quantitative review.

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University of Southern California, USA.


Meta-analytic procedures were used to assess the degree to which aggression-related cues present in the environment facilitate aggressive responding among negatively aroused subjects. The first study, which examined the so-called weapons effect, the effect of name-mediated cues, and other cue effects, showed clear evidence that aggression cues augment aggressive responses in negatively aroused subjects. This was true for the overall analysis and for name-mediated cues, but confirmation of the weapons effect was restricted to cases wherein subject sophistication and evaluation apprehension were low. A second study used partial correlation analysis to assess independently the effects of seven potential mediators of aggression cue effects. Of these, target-based facilitation and harm capacity of the aggressive response were found to mediate the magnitude of cue-facilitated aggression. A third study showed that these mediators augmented cue effects among neutral as well as negatively aroused subjects. These outcomes are interpreted as emphasizing the role of cognitive factors in the expression of both impulsive and nonimpulsive aggression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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