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An Investigation of Order Effects in the Measurement of Aggression and Aggressive Cognition


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*Part of TESS 2003 Telephone Survey

Download Telephone Survey Data (includes materials for all surveys in module)



Principal Investigator(s):

Paul Boxer
Rutgers University, Newark and University of Michigan
Email: pboxer@psychology.rutgers.edu
Home page: http://nwkpsych.rutgers.edu/~pboxer/

Eric F. Dubow
Bowling Green State University and University of Michigan
Email: edubow@bgsu.edu
Home page: http://www2.bgsu.edu/departments/psych/page33037.html

Rowell Huesmann
University of Michigan
Email: Huesmann@umich.edu
Home page: http://www.rcgd.isr.umich.edu/aggr/personnelprofiles/huesmann.html

Sample size: 1007
Field period: 10/2003 - 11/2003


Abstract:

Our Study examined order effects in assessing aggression and beliefs about aggression. We hypothesized that stronger relations between behavior and beliefs would obtain from asking individuals to report first on behavior and then on beliefs, compared to the reverse. A nationally representative sample of 1,007 adults (58% female) completed a telephone survey in which each subject was assigned randomly to one of the two orders described above. Subjects responded to questions assessing: engagement in physical/verbal aggression in the last year and beliefs about how acceptable it is to behave aggressively. Our hypothesis was confirmed in that a correlation obtained only when participants first reported on their aggressive behavior: in this condition the correlation between aggression and beliefs about aggression was -.14 (p < .01; n = 502); in the reversed-order condition it was -.03 (p > .50, n = 505). Our results suggest important considerations for assessing aggression and aggressive beliefs.

Hypothesis:

We hypothesized that stronger relations between behavior and beliefs would obtain from asking individuals to report first on behavior and then on beliefs, compared to the reverse.

Experimental Manipulation:

The manipulation consisted of randomly assigning subjects to one of two questionnaire orders: aggressive behavior, then normative beliefs about aggression; or normative beliefs about aggression, then aggressive behavior.

Key Dependent Variables:

Aggressive behavior and normative beliefs about aggression.

Summary of Findings:

See abstract

Figures/Tables:

fig1.gif

Conclusion:

See abstract



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