Selective role of aggression in concept formation


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Abstract

This experiment investigated how “Direction” in verbal problem solving is influenced by aggression. A Four-Word Problem (FWP) test was designed, consisting of: Set A, eliciting an aggressive or nonaggressive classification of equal conceptual quality; Set B, where the aggressive selection is inferior; and Set C where neither classification involves aggression. Rankings of aggressive behavior were obtained for the 75 Ss who were administered the FWP and a word association test. Thematic protocols were available for 57 Ss. Results were: (a) A positive relationship was found between rankings of aggression and “Difference Scores,” i.e., the difference in selection of conceptually inferior classifications between Set B and Set C. (b) A positive relationship was obtained between Set A and aggression in the thematic data. (c) The word associations were found to be unrelated to Set A or the thematic material. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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