Date of Award

8-2010

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Tammy Greer

Committee Chair Department

Psychology

Committee Member 2

John Harsh

Committee Member 2 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 3

Bradley Green

Committee Member 3 Department

Psychology

Abstract

Laboratory aggression paradigms stand out in their ability to tease apart differences between an individuals' self-reported likelihood of aggressing and their observable acts of aggression. However, critics have pointed out that one limitation of laboratory aggression paradigms is that they fail to provide participants with response options other than the administration of an aversive stimulus. Thus, the goal of this project is to develop and validate the Competitive Prosocial/ Aggression Continuum Task (COMPACT), a portable competitive reaction time aggression paradigm that expands the range of available participant response sets to allow for prosocial responding by utilizing aversive and pleasant auditory stimuli as behavioral measures of aggressive and prosocial responding respectively. Scores on the COMPACT were correlated with established measures such as the Prosocial Tendencies Measure, the Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire, the Vengeance Scale, the Life History of Aggression, the Normative Beliefs about Aggression Scale, the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales, the Big Five Inventory, and the Gender Free Inventory of Desirable Responding to establish construct validity. Mixed results were obtained, with the COMPACT demonstrating higher construct validity for use with Caucasian populations than with African American populations.

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