Responses to scenarios that may provoke acts of conflict and aggression among the general public: an exploratory study

J Interpers Violence. 2011 May;26(8):1606-27. doi: 10.1177/0886260510370595. Epub 2010 May 25.


The purpose of this article is to use empirical research and theory to investigate the context that may provoke individuals to engage in acts of conflict and aggression. A random sample of the general public from a midsouthern state was surveyed to explore this inquiry. Respondents were asked to indicate their level of reaction to a number of situations that often lead people to engage in conflict and/or aggression with other people. Several sociodemographic factors served as control variables in the study. The findings of the Pearson product-moment correlations suggest that respondents were more likely to report that they would respond more aggressively as the situations presented to them were perceived as being more physically threatening to them and/or their loved ones. Also, gender and age were the most significant predictors of engagement in acts of conflict and aggression in the multiple ordinal least squares regression analyses. Strengths and drawbacks of the study and direction of future research are also discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aggression*
  • Attitude*
  • Conflict, Psychological*
  • Data Collection
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Public Opinion
  • United States