The Measurement of Human Aggression

  • Robert M. Kaplan
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (ASID, volume 17)


Most social psychology textbooks include a chapter on aggression. The chapters typically begin with a discussion of the increase in the number of violent crimes and then proceed to present psychological research which purportedly explains human aggression. In this chapter I will examine the measures used in this research and comment on the relevance of these approaches to the understanding of the serious violent crime wave which has caused concern in most western countries. The crux of this issue is the definition and measurement of aggression.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Anastasi, A. Psychological Testing, Fifth Edition. New York: Macmillan, 1982.Google Scholar
  2. Aronfreed, J. The problem of imitation. In L. P. Lipsitt and H. W. Reese (eds.), Advances in Development and Behavior (Vol. 4 ). New York: Academic ress, 1969.Google Scholar
  3. Bandura, A., Ross, D. and Ross, S. A. Transmission of aggression through imitation and aggressive models. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 1961, 63, 575–592.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bandura, A., Ross, D. and Ross, S.-T. A comparative test of the status envy, social power, and secondary reinforcement theories of identificatory learning. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 1963, 67, 527–534, a.Google Scholar
  5. Bandura, A., Ross, D. and Ross-S. A. Imitation of film-mediated aggressive models. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 1963, 66, 3–11.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bandura, A., Ross, D. and Ross, S. A. Vicarious reinforcement and imitative learning. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 1963, 67, 601–607, c.Google Scholar
  7. Barontit. A. Human Aggression. New York: Plenum, 1977.Google Scholar
  8. Bem, D. J. Andnder, D. C. Predicting more of the people more of the time. Psychological Review, 1978, 85, 485–561.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Berkowitz, L. and Donnerstein, E. External valîaity is more than skin deep: Some answers to criticisms of laboratory experiments. American Psychologist, 1982 37, 245–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Buss, A. H. The Psychology of Aggression New York: John Wiley, 1961.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Buss, A. H. Aggression pays. In J. L. Singer (ed.), The Control of Aggression and Violence. New York: Academic 17iss, 1971.Google Scholar
  12. Buss,A. H. and Duri, A. An inventory for assessing different kinds of hostility. Journal of Consulting Psychology, 1957, 21, 343–349.Google Scholar
  13. Caine T.M., Foulds, G. A. and Hope, K. Manual of the Hostility and Direction of Hostility Questionnaire (H.D.H.Q.). London: Tniversity ot tndon Press, 19b/.Google Scholar
  14. Campbell, D. T. Reforms as experiments. American Psychologist, 1969, 24, 409–429.Google Scholar
  15. Cook, W. W. ihd Medley, D. M. Proposed hostility and pharisaic-virtue scales for the MMPI. Journal. of Applied Psychology, 1954, 38, 414–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Doleschal, E. Crime-some popular beliefs. Crime and Delin quency, 1979, 25, 1–6.Google Scholar
  17. Dolla R., Doob, 1- W., Miller, N. E., Mowrer, 0. H. and Sears, R. R. Frustration and Aggression. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1939.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Douglas, J. D. The Social Meaning of Suicide. Princeton: Princeton UniversityPress, 1967.Google Scholar
  19. Edinger, J. D. Cross-validation of the Megargee et al. MMPI typology for prisoners. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1979, 47, 234–242.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Edmunds, G. and Kendrick D. C. The Measurement of Human Aggres- sion. Chichester, England: -11-lis Horwood Limited; 1980.Google Scholar
  21. Edwar Sue, A. L., Manual for the Edwards Personal Preference Schedule. New-Yorck-: 1 chTgica orpora- 1954.Google Scholar
  22. Epstein, L. The self-concept: A review and the proposal of an integrated theory of personality. In E. Staub (ed.), Personality: Basic Issues and Current Research. Engle Tea Cliffs, N.J.—Prentice-Ha1T 1979.Google Scholar
  23. Epstein, S. The stability of behavior. II. Implications for psychological research. American Psychologist, 1980, 35, 790–806.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Eron, L. D. Prescription for reduction of aggression. American Psychologist, 1980, 35, 244–252.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Federal Bureau ot Investigâtion. Uniform Crime Statistics. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1980.Google Scholar
  26. Feierabend, I. K., Feierabend, R. L. and Nesvold, B. A. Social change and political violence: Cross-national patterns. In I. K. Feierabend, R. L. Feierabend and T. R. Gurr (eds.), Anger, Violence, and Politics: Theories and Research. Engle-wo— od Cliffs, N.J. Prentice-Hall, 1972.Google Scholar
  27. Feierabend, I. K., Feierabend, R. L. and Nesvold, B. A. The comparative study of revolution and violence. Comparative Politics, 1973, April, 393–424.Google Scholar
  28. Feshba 1T S. The function of aggression and the regulation of aggressive drive. Psychological Review, 1964, 71, 257–272.Google Scholar
  29. Feshbach, S. and Singer, R. D. Television and Aggression. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 19/1.Google Scholar
  30. Geen, R. G. and George, G. Relationship of manifest aggressiveness to aggressive word associations. Psychology Reports, 1969, 25, 711–714.Google Scholar
  31. Gerbner, G., Gross, L., Jackson-Buck, M., Jeffries-Fox, S. and Signorielli, N. Violence Profile.Number 9: Trends in Network Television Drama and Viewer Conceep ions of Social, 1967–1978. Philai elphiâ: University oi ennsy vanta, T978.Google Scholar
  32. Green, R. T. and Stacey, B. G. The development of a questionnaire measure of hostility and aggression. Acta Psychologica, 1967, 26, 265–285.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Gurr, T. A causal model of civil striff: A comparative analysis using new indices. American Political Science Review, 1968, 62Google Scholar
  34. Hanratty, M. A., Liebert, R. M., Morris, L. W. and Fernandez, L. E. Imitation of film-mediated aggression against live and inaminate victims. Procedures of the 77th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Associat ERT 1969, 4, 457–458.Google Scholar
  35. Hanratty M. A., O’Neal, E. and Sulzer, J. L. Effects Tif frustration upon imitation of aggression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1972, 21, 30–34.Google Scholar
  36. Jones, E. D. III. The District of Columbia’s “Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975”: The toughest handgun control law in the United States-Or is it? Annals of the Academy of Political and Social Science, 1981, 455, 138-149.Google Scholar
  37. Kane, T. R., Joseph, J. M. and Tedeschi, J. T. Person perception and the Berkowitz paradigm for the study of aggression. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1976, 33, 663–673.Google Scholar
  38. Kaplan, J. The wisdom of gun prohibition. Annals of the Academy of Political and Social Science. 1981, 455, 150–168.Google Scholar
  39. Kaplan, R. M. and Bush, J. W. Health-related quality of life measurement for evaluation research and policy analysis. Health Psychology, 1982, 61–80.Google Scholar
  40. Kaplan, M., Bush, J. W. and Berry, C. C. Health status: Types of validity for an index of well-being. Health Services Research, 1976, 11, 478–507.Google Scholar
  41. Kaplan, R. M., Bush, T W. and Berry, C. C. The reliability, stability and generalizability of a health status index. American Statistics Association, Proceedings of the Social Statistics Section. 1978, 704–709.Google Scholar
  42. Kaplan; R. M., Bush, J. W. and Berry, C. C. Health status index: Category rating versus magnitude estimation for measuring levels of well-being. Medical Care, 1979, 5, 501–523.Google Scholar
  43. Kaplan, R. M. and Saccuzzo, D. S. Psychological Testing: Principles. Applications and Issues. Monterey, C.A.: Brooks/Cole Publishing, 1982.Google Scholar
  44. Kaplan, R. M. and Singer, R. D. Television violence and viewer aggression: A reexamination of the evidence. Journal of Social Issues, 1976, 32 (4), 35–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Konecni, V. J. Annoyance, Type, and duration of postannoyance activity, and aggression; The “cathartic effect”. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 1975, 104, 76–102Google Scholar
  46. Leifer, A. D. and Roberts, D. F. Children’s responses to television violence. In J. P. Murray, E. A. Rubinstein and G. A. Comstock (eds.), Television and Social Behavior (Vol. 2 ). Washington, D. C.: U. S. Governmen rin ing fice, 1972.Google Scholar
  47. Liebowitz, G. Comparison of self-report and behavioral techniques of assessing aggression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 1968, 32, 21–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Loftin, C. and McCowall,D. “One with a gun gets two”: Mandatory sentencing and firearms violence in Detroit. Annals of the Academy of Political and Social Science. 1981, 455, 150–168.Google Scholar
  49. Lord, FF—agi Novick, M.î77 Statistical Theories oT1 ental Test Scores. Redding, M.A.: Addison-Wesley, 1968.Google Scholar
  50. Megargee. I. A new classification for criminal offenders. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 1977, 4, 107–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Megargee, I. and Bo m, M. J. Classifying Criminal Offenders: A New System Based on the MMPI. Beverly Hills: Sage, 1979.Google Scholar
  52. Megargee, E. I. and Dorhout, B. A new classification system for criminal offenders, III: Revision and refinement of the classifitory rules. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 1977, 4, 125–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Milgram, S. Obedience to Authority. New York: Harper and Row, 1974.Google Scholar
  54. Mischel, W. Personality and Assessment. New York: John Wiley, 1968.Google Scholar
  55. Moldawasky, P. A study of personality variables in patients with skin disorders. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, State University, Iowa. Cited in A. H. Buss (1961) The Psychology of Aggression, 1953.Google Scholar
  56. Moored. H. Keeping handguns from criminal offenders. Annals of the Academy of Political and Social Science, 1981, 455, 9 TOT.Google Scholar
  57. Moyer, K. E. Kinds of aggression and their physiological basis. Community Behavior and Biology, 1968, 2, 65–87.Google Scholar
  58. Moyer, K. E. The PhysioTngy of Hostility. -Markham Press, 1971.Google Scholar
  59. Myer, J., Jr. irid Megargee, F-I. A new classification system for criminal offenders, II: Initial development of the system. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 1977, 4, 115–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. National nstitutes Health. Epidemiology of respiratory diseases: Task Force Report on State of Knowledge, Problems, Needs (N.I.H. Publication No. 81–2019 ). Washington: National Institutes of Health, 1979.Google Scholar
  61. Novaco, R. W. Anger Control: The Development and Evaluation of an Experimena reatment. Txington, M.A.—Lexington Books, T376.Google Scholar
  62. Novaco, R. W. The cognitive regulation of anger and stress. In P. Kendall and S. Hollon (eds.), Cognitive-Behavioral Interventions: Theory, Research, and Procedures. New 7oTiT Academic Press, 1979.Google Scholar
  63. Nunnally, J. Psychometric Theory. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1978.Google Scholar
  64. Olweus, D. Personality an assion. In J. K. Cole and D. D. Jensen (eds.), Nebraska Symposium on Motivation 1972. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press,-T9/3, 261–321.Google Scholar
  65. Olweus, D. Personality factors and aggression: With special reference to violence within the peer group. In J. de Wit and W. W. Hartup (eds.), Determinants and Origins of Aggressive Behavior. The Hague: Mouton Press, 1974.Google Scholar
  66. OlweuiT-6. Aggression and peer acceptance in adolescent boys: Two short-term longitudinal studies of ratings. Child Development, 1977, 48, 1301–1313.Google Scholar
  67. Olweus, D. Familial and tempramental determinants of aggressive behavior in adolescent boys-a causal analysis. Developmental Psychology, 1980, 16, 644–660.Google Scholar
  68. Patterson, G. R., Littman, R. A. and Bricker, W. Assertive, behavior in children: A step toward a theory of aggression. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Develoopment, 1967, 32, (5) whole, No. 113.Google Scholar
  69. Pierce, G. 7-and Bowers, W. J. The Bartley-Fox Gun Law’s short-term impact on crime in Boston. Annals of the Academy of Political and Social Science, 1981, 455, 120=f377- Google Scholar
  70. Rubenstein, E. 77— arming-The Surgeoneral’s research program mayy be dangerous to preconceived notions. Journal of Social Issues, 1976, 32, 18–34.Google Scholar
  71. Ross, L. B. The Effect of-Aggressive Cartoons on the Group Play of Children. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Miami University, 1972.Google Scholar
  72. Sarason, I. G. Interrelationships among individual difference variables, behavior in psychotherapy, and verbal conditioning. Journal of Abnormal Social Psychology, 1958, 56, 339–344.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Schultz, S. D. A differentiation of several forms of hostility by scales empirically constructed from significant items on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Pennsylvania State College. Cited in A. H. Buss (1961) The Psychology of Aggression, 1954.Google Scholar
  74. Shemberg, K. M., Leventff T, D. B. and Allman, L. Aggression Machine performance and rated aggression. Journal of Experimental Research in Personality, 1968, 3, 117–119.Google Scholar
  75. Shields, P. Guns don’t die-people do. New York: Arbor House, 1981.Google Scholar
  76. Siegal, A. E. Film-mediated fantasy aggression and strength of aggressive drive. Child Development, 1956, 27, 365–378.Google Scholar
  77. Simmons, J. G., Johnson, D. C., Gouvier, W. D., Muzyczka, M. J. The Myer-Megargee Inmate Typology: Dynamic or unstable? Criminal Justice and Behavior, 1981, 8, 49–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Smith, K. G. Influence of failure, expressed hostility, and stimulus characteristics on verbal learning and recognition. Journal of Personality, 1954, 22, 475–493.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Turkey, J. W. Exploratory Data Analysis. Redding, M.A.: Addison-Wesley, 1977.Google Scholar
  80. Walters, R. H. and Brown, M. Studies of reinforcement of aggression, III: Transfer of responses to an interpersonal situation. Child Development, 1963, 34, 563–571.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  81. Weinstein, M. C. and Stason, W. T. Foundations of cost-effectiveness analysis for health and medical practices. New England Journal of Medicine, 1977, 296, 716–721.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Wolfe, B. M. and Baron, R. A. Laboratorÿ aggression related to aggression in naturalistic situations: Effects of an aggressive model on the behavior of college student and prisoner observers. Psychonomic Science, 1971, 24, 193–194.Google Scholar
  83. Zaks, M. S. and Walters, R. H. First steps the construction of a scale for the measurement of aggression. Journal of Psychology, 1959, 47, 199–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert M. Kaplan
    • 1
  1. 1.University of California, San Diego and San Diego State UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations