Predictors of attributions of aggression

Turner, Laura (2007) Predictors of attributions of aggression. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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The aims of the current study were to investigate associations between instrumental and expressive attributions of aggression and locus of control, empathy and impulsivity and to explore the moderating effects of sex differences in such constructs.
It was predicted that there would be sex differences in expressions of aggression; that men would view their own aggression more instrumentally and women, more expressively. Instrumental attributions were predicted to be associated with an external locus of control and expressive attributions associated with an internal locus of control. Sex dffferences in empathy were predicted and associations between empathy and instrumental and expressive attributions about aggression. Sex differences in impulsivity were predicted and an association between instrumental attributions and impulsivity. An undergraduate sample of 338 British students (264 females and 74 males) completedfour self report measures of the constructs.
Consistent with previous research, men showed higher values than women for instrumental attributions and women showed higher values than men for expressive attributions. Sex dtfferences in the female direction were foundfor empathic response.
Age, gender, perspective taking, total empathy and total impulsivity were found to be predictive of instrumental attributions about aggression. Reciprocally, gender, personal distress, fantasy, total empathy and external locus of control were found to
be predictive of expressive attributions. The findings were discussed with reference to evolutionary theory and the phenomenological model proposed by Alexander, Allen, Brooks, Cole and Campbell, (2004).

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