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ERIC Number: EJ1006916
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Feb
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 27
ISSN: ISSN-0096-3445
Too Calloused to Care: An Experimental Examination of Factors Influencing Youths' Displaced Aggression against Their Peers
Reijntjes, Albert; Kamphuis, Jan H.; Thomaes, Sander; Bushman, Brad J.; Telch, Michael J.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, v142 n1 p28-33 Feb 2013
People often displace their aggression against innocent targets. Notwithstanding the merits of previous research on displaced aggression, critical gaps remain. First, it is unclear whether and how situational and dispositional factors interact to influence displaced aggression. Moreover, it is unclear whether engaging in direct aggression increases or decreases displaced aggression. To address these gaps, the present experiment investigated how situational factors (provocateur availability, provocation intensity) and dispositional factors (callousness, trait aggressiveness) jointly influence displaced and direct aggression in male adolescents. Participants (N = 175, M[subscript age] = 13.1 years) completed a personal profile that was allegedly evaluated by peer judges. After randomly receiving mild or strong negative feedback, participants could aggress against these peer judges as well as against other innocent peers (direct and displaced aggression) or against innocent peers only (displaced aggression). Results showed that displaced aggression occurred only when the negative feedback was strong and participants could not retaliate directly. Higher levels of callousness specifically predicted more displaced (but not direct) aggression. However, the potentiating effects of callousness emerged only when the negative feedback was strong. This finding highlights the importance of examining disposition by situation interactions in displaced aggression research. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Netherlands