Aggression in the Laboratory: Problems with the Validity of the Modified Taylor Competitive Reaction Time Test as a Measure of Aggression in Media Violence Studies

  • Ferguson C
  • Smith S
  • Miller-Stratton H
 et al. 
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Abstract

Many laboratory studies of aggression use a measure known as the modified Taylor Competitive Reaction Time Test (TCRTT), for which validation studies are lacking. Using sound blasts administered by the participant against a fictional human opponent, the TCRTT also allows for multiple methods of measuring aggression. The validity of the TCRTT was tested in 53 college student participants. Participants took a self-report measure of aggressiveness as well as neuropsychological measures of frontal lobe functioning predictive of aggression. Results were not supportive of the TCRTT's validity and indicated concerns regarding the use of the TCRTT as a measure of aggression. Results suggest that labaratory studies of media violence using the TCRTT are of questionable validity.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Aggression
  • Impulse control, mass media
  • Media violence
  • Neuropsychology
  • Violence

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