Aggressiveness, inhibitory control, and emotional states: A provocation paradigm

Sebalo, Ivan orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2930-920X, Bozzay, Melanie, Verona, Edelyn, Chu, Simon orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-8921-4942 and Ireland, Jane Louise orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5117-5930 (2024) Aggressiveness, inhibitory control, and emotional states: A provocation paradigm. Aggressive Behavior, 50 (4). e22165. ISSN 0096-140X

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The current study examines the effects of trait aggressiveness, inhibitory control and emotional states on aggressive behaviour in a laboratory paradigm. One hundred fifty-one adult participants took part (73 men, 71 women, and seven non-disclosed). Event Related Potentials (ERPs) during a Go/No-Go task were utilised to capture the extent of inhibitory processing, with a laboratory provocation paradigm used to assess aggression. Contrary to the expectations, negative affective responses to provocation were negatively associated only with short-lived aggression and only among those with high past aggressiveness. Furthermore, past aggressiveness was related to a continuous increase in laboratory aggressive behaviour regardless of the level of inhibitory control (P3 difference amplitude). However, feeling hostile was associated with short-lived aggressive behaviour, only in those with lower levels of inhibitory control. These findings demonstrate the effect of distinct mechanisms on different patterns of aggressive behaviour.

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