Individual differences in sensitivities to aggressive events:
Situational Triggers of Aggressive Response
Measures of trait aggression are typically used to predict who is likely to act aggressively in any given situation. However, reactive aggression is typically the result of the interaction between the person and the situation, and may be determined not solely by trait aggression, but by individuals’ sensitivity to potential triggers in their environment such as provocations from others and frustrations (Anderson & Bushman, 2002). I will present three studies outlining the impact of individual differences in sensitivity to aggressive triggers (Lawrence, 2006). I will report the generation of the scales assessing individuals’ sensitivity to frustration (SF) and provocation (SP). I will then present data showing the impact of these sensitivities on the way in which behavior of other individuals are interpreted. Finally, the influence of individual differences in sensitivity to provocations (SP) as opposed to sensitivity to frustrations (SF) on provoked aggressive behavior will be presented. The implication of such sensitivities for models of aggressive behavior will be discussed.