Is Aggressive Trait Responsible for Violence? Priming Effects of Aggressive Words and Violent Movies


The aim of the present study was to examine the priming effects of violent movies and aggressive words on implicit aggression by using modified STROOP task. 190 adolescents participated in this study, with 95 assigned to non-violent movie group and 95 assigned to violent movie group. The results showed that no significant difference was found in the main affect of Movie Type, but it revealed significant Movie Type × Aggressive Trait interaction, and that aggression was significantly influenced by violent movie only for high-aggressive trait (HT) adolescents, but not for mid-aggressive trait (MT) and low-aggressive trait (LT) adolescents. The possible underlying mechanism was that HT adolescents may possess a relatively stronger aggressive network of cognitive association which was easily activated by violence than MT and LT adolescents. This indicated that violent movie could effectively elicit implicit aggression for adolescents who were highly aggressive, but not for nonaggressive adolescents.

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Zhang, Q. , Zhang, D. & Wang, L. (2013). Is Aggressive Trait Responsible for Violence? Priming Effects of Aggressive Words and Violent Movies. Psychology, 4, 96-100. doi: 10.4236/psych.2013.42013.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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