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Lashing out after stewing over public insults: The effects of public provocation, provocation intensity, and rumination on triggered displaced aggression

Lashing out after stewing over public insults: The effects of public provocation, provocation intensity, and rumination on triggered displaced aggression
Lashing out after stewing over public insults: The effects of public provocation, provocation intensity, and rumination on triggered displaced aggression
Four studies present the first evidence showing that public (vs. private) provocation augments triggered displaced aggression by increasing the perceived intensity of the provocation. This effect is shown to be independent of face‐saving motivation. Following a public or private provocation, Study 1 participants were induced to ruminate or were distracted for 20 min. They then had an opportunity to aggress against another person who either acted in a neutral or mildly annoying fashion (viz. triggering event). As expected, the magnitude of the greater displaced aggression of those who ruminated before the triggering event compared with those distracted was greater under public than private provocation. Study 2 replicated the findings of Study 1 and confirmed that public provocations are experienced as more intense. Studies 3 and 4 both manipulated provocation intensity directly to show that it mediated the moderating effect of public/private provocation found in Study 1. The greater intensity of a public provocation increases reactivity to a subsequent trigger, which in turn, augments triggered displaced aggression.
0096-140X
13-29
Vasquez, Eduardo
adcef825-99c8-40cf-b1f3-b8293c323910
Pedersen, William
0eb84224-9699-472a-8e0d-4391c539e9b8
Bushman, Brad J.
a2cf536d-852f-4708-8cf2-ac7f4fab5042
Kelley, Nicholas
445e767b-ad9f-44f2-b2c6-d981482bb90b
Demeestere, Philippine
69b09024-196a-4a50-951e-05727f217792
Miller, Norman
08a4d623-a5c3-49a4-a94a-95d6388e1ae3
Vasquez, Eduardo
adcef825-99c8-40cf-b1f3-b8293c323910
Pedersen, William
0eb84224-9699-472a-8e0d-4391c539e9b8
Bushman, Brad J.
a2cf536d-852f-4708-8cf2-ac7f4fab5042
Kelley, Nicholas
445e767b-ad9f-44f2-b2c6-d981482bb90b
Demeestere, Philippine
69b09024-196a-4a50-951e-05727f217792
Miller, Norman
08a4d623-a5c3-49a4-a94a-95d6388e1ae3

Vasquez, Eduardo, Pedersen, William, Bushman, Brad J., Kelley, Nicholas, Demeestere, Philippine and Miller, Norman (2013) Lashing out after stewing over public insults: The effects of public provocation, provocation intensity, and rumination on triggered displaced aggression. Aggressive Behavior, 39 (1), 13-29. (doi:10.1002/ab.21453).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Four studies present the first evidence showing that public (vs. private) provocation augments triggered displaced aggression by increasing the perceived intensity of the provocation. This effect is shown to be independent of face‐saving motivation. Following a public or private provocation, Study 1 participants were induced to ruminate or were distracted for 20 min. They then had an opportunity to aggress against another person who either acted in a neutral or mildly annoying fashion (viz. triggering event). As expected, the magnitude of the greater displaced aggression of those who ruminated before the triggering event compared with those distracted was greater under public than private provocation. Study 2 replicated the findings of Study 1 and confirmed that public provocations are experienced as more intense. Studies 3 and 4 both manipulated provocation intensity directly to show that it mediated the moderating effect of public/private provocation found in Study 1. The greater intensity of a public provocation increases reactivity to a subsequent trigger, which in turn, augments triggered displaced aggression.

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 5 October 2012
Published date: January 2013

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 432929
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/432929
ISSN: 0096-140X
PURE UUID: 318f2c3b-cc1b-471b-aa27-caed0b058109

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Date deposited: 01 Aug 2019 16:30
Last modified: 01 Aug 2019 16:30

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Contributors

Author: Eduardo Vasquez
Author: William Pedersen
Author: Brad J. Bushman
Author: Nicholas Kelley
Author: Philippine Demeestere
Author: Norman Miller

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