AbstractsBiology & Animal Science

Laboratory Measurement of Aggression

by A.E.M. Capello

Institution: Universiteit Utrecht
Year: 2009
Keywords: Geneeskunde; aggression; validity; laboratory paradigm
Record ID: 1250851
Full text PDF: http://dspace.library.uu.nl:8080/handle/1874/33690


This article represents an evaluation of the construct validity of contemporary laboratory aggression research. The notion of severe limitations in major aggression paradigms was raised by Tedeschi and Quigley (1996) and largely disputed by Giancola and Chermack (1998). Several important recommendations were proposed, and presently, the extent to which these have been taken into account was evaluated. The two major paradigms, the Taylor Competitive Reaction Time Task and the Point Subtraction Aggression Paradigm, still partly suffer from the same limitations. While theory development has occurred in which attention to the subjective motivation and intention has increased, this has not yet been fully adopted in practical laboratory assessment. Still too often, subjective goals for variations in response patterns are ignored, and limited response alternatives are provided, as a result of which laboratory measures still under represent the construct of aggression. Moreover, empirical evidence is poor, and it is unclear why these recommendations have been ignored. Fortunately, meaningful attempts have been made, and sometimes followed by other researchers. There is a development to better operationalisations, but overall, the main conclusion as first stated by Tedeschi and Quigley remains largely unaltered: contemporary laboratory aggression research lacks construct validity.