Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 159–178 | Cite as

Hostile attributional bias in adults

  • James Epps
  • Philip C. Kendall


This study tested the validity of hostile attributional bias as a cognitive correlate of anger/aggression in adults. Findings generalized hostile attributional bias into adult populations in ambiguous situations, and extended the construct into benign and hostile situations. Support was seen for the notion that hostile attributional bias is a separate functional entity from simple attribution of intentionality in negative social interactions, with some indication of a tiered cognitive process — attributing first intentionality then hostility of intent. Forced cognitive mediation was seen to have greater effect on angry response in ambiguous situations for aggressive than nonaggressive subjects. The findings are discussed in light of relevant cognitive-behavioral and social information processing theories.

Key words

hostility aggression anger attributions 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Epps
    • 2
  • Philip C. Kendall
    • 1
  1. 1.Temple UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychology (BEH-339)University of South FloridaTampa

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