Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Law Psychiatry. 2015 Jul-Aug;41:89-94. doi: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2015.03.012. Epub 2015 Apr 7.

Implicit cognitive aggression among young male prisoners: Association with dispositional and current aggression.

Author information

Ashworth Research Centre (ARC), Mersey Care NHS Trust and University of Central Lancashire, UK. Electronic address:
HM Prison Service, UK.


The current study explores associations between implicit and explicit aggression in young adult male prisoners, seeking to apply the Reflection-Impulsive Model and indicate parity with elements of the General Aggression Model and social cognition. Implicit cognitive aggressive processing is not an area that has been examined among prisoners. Two hundred and sixty two prisoners completed an implicit cognitive aggression measure (Puzzle Test) and explicit aggression measures, covering current behaviour (DIPC-R) and aggression disposition (AQ). It was predicted that dispositional aggression would be predicted by implicit cognitive aggression, and that implicit cognitive aggression would predict current engagement in aggressive behaviour. It was also predicted that more impulsive implicit cognitive processing would associate with aggressive behaviour whereas cognitively effortful implicit cognitive processing would not. Implicit aggressive cognitive processing was associated with increased dispositional aggression but not current reports of aggressive behaviour. Impulsive implicit cognitive processing of an aggressive nature predicted increased dispositional aggression whereas more cognitively effortful implicit cognitive aggression did not. The article concludes by outlining the importance of accounting for implicit cognitive processing among prisoners and the need to separate such processing into facets (i.e. impulsive vs. cognitively effortful). Implications for future research and practice in this novel area of study are indicated.


DIPC; Implicit cognition; Prison aggression; Puzzle Test

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center