Year of Publication

2016

Season of Publication

Summer

Paper Type

Master's Thesis

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Curtis Phills

Second Advisor

Dr. Angela Mann

Department Chair

Dr. Lori Lange

College Dean

Dr. Barbara A. Hetrick

Abstract

Opportunities for aggression occur frequently and unpredictably, but little research to our knowledge has investigated the impact of the mere presence of multiple opportunities on aggression over time. Two studies, one with a Canadian sample (163 participants) and one with an American sample (103 participants) were conducted to analyze the impact of the number of opportunities for aggression on justified and unjustified aggressive thoughts, behaviors, and motivations. Individually, these studies yielded the result that justified aggression remains stable over time, but that unjustified aggression decreases when an individual is given multiple opportunities. Combined, they indicated that justified aggression increased when participants had a second opportunity. Future research is proposed to understand the impact of moral licensing on aggression over time, and to understand why unjustified aggression occurs.

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