Self-reinforcement in high- and low-aggressive boys following acts of aggression

D. G. Perry*, K. Bussey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Preadolescent boys either high or low in characteristic level of peer-directed aggression were initially annoyed by a peer confederate and then delivered aversive auditory stimulation to him via headphones. Half the boys of each aggression status were led to believe that they had injured their victim, through high pain-cue feedback, whereas the other half were given low pain-cue feedback. Subsequently, boys self-dispensed rewards with instructions to take what they deserved for what they had done to the other boy. Low aggressive boys severely curtailed their self-reinforcement following high pain cues, whereas high-aggressive boys did not. Results supported the view that high-aggressive boys fail to experience the negative self-reactions following injurious behavior that are experienced by boys lower in aggressive tendencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-657
Number of pages5
JournalChild Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1977
Externally publishedYes

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