Friend Or Foe: The Effect Of Shared Group Status On Aggressiveness And Testosterone In Response To Provocation

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Fuller, Eric William
Aggression; Competition; Intergroup Behavior; Testosterone; Other Psychology; Social Psychology
thesis / dissertation description
Previous research has found that individuals display behavioral and hormonal differences when engaged in competition with natural and experimental ingroup and outgroup members. The current work expands on this line of research by examining the impact of shared group status on reactive aggression in response to provocation. Using a previously validated measure of reactive aggression, participants were provoked by and given a chance to aggress on to either a racial ingroup or outgroup member. Participants also provided saliva samples to allow for monitoring changes in testosterone. It was hypothesized that behavioral aggression would be predicted by changes in testosterone and that this relationship would be moderated by group status. Analyses indicated that the relationship between aggression and changes in testosterone, a previously established relationship, was present primarily for participants playing with an outgroup member, while the relationship was not present for those playing with an ingroup member. The results and future directions are discussed in relation to previous aggression studies with respect to the current study's experimental manipulation and behavioral measurement.