Attribution of aggression to acts: a four-factor model.

Research paper by K K Björkqvist, M M Lindström, M M Pehrsson

Indexed on: 22 Nov '00Published on: 22 Nov '00Published in: Psychological reports


Factors determining why acts are regarded as aggressive were investigated in a sample of 303 subjects (140 males, 163 females, M age = 17.7 yr., SD = 1.4). A model was tested, according to which people base their attribution of aggression to acts on four factors: (1) intention (yes/no), (2) reason (attack/defense), (3) injury (death/injury/no injury), and (4) mode (weapon/bare hands/nonphysical means). All four factors contributed to the explanation of attribution of aggression, and the order of importance was the one mentioned above, intention being most important. The interaction between intention and reason was the second most important, contributing more than reason alone. The findings are consistent with the severity of punishment in sentences for different crimes of violence.