The contagion of aggression

Ladd Wheeler*, Anthony R. Caggiula

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


The following hypotheses were confirmed: (1) If a subject is instigated to aggression and observes an aggressive model, the amount of yielding by the target of aggression will not affect the subject's aggression. (2) Instigation to aggression (a) combined with observation of an aggressive model (b) will produce a greater frequency of aggression by a subject than a simple additive model of the effects of (a) and (b) would predict. The hypotheses were tested in a 6-condition experiment (N = 191) in which the model and the target were standard stimulus tapes. Instigation to aggression was created by the target's socially deviant opinions. Hypotheses were derived from a behavioral contagion framework, utilizing restraint reduction as the central concept.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1966
Externally publishedYes


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