The current research applied the general aggression model (GAM) to explain the relation between negative societal changes (e.g., indicators of a poor economy) on aggression-related outcomes. One correlational and one experimental study tested the relationships between these variables as well as possible mediating mechanisms.Method:
In Study 1 (N = 193), participants completed several measures to assess aggression, stress from current economic crises, and trait hostility. In Study 2 (N = 101), participants were randomly assigned to view stressful news videos (clips suggesting the economy is poor) or neutral news videos prior to completing state measures of stress and hostility.Results:
Study 1 found significant positive relations between stress from negative societal changes and aggression, mediated by hostility. Study 2 showed that viewing stressful news videos increased state hostility, which was mediated by state levels of stress.Conclusions:
Overall, results suggest that indicators of poor economic times are related to aggression and hostility. These findings offer theoretical implications for the utility of the GAM in explaining how societal-level shifts in economy-related variables can influence aggression levels at the individual level.