Outline the Issues Psychologists Encounter When Measuring Aggression.

“Human aggression is any behaviour directed toward another individual that is carried out with the proximate (immediate) intent to cause harm.” (Bushman & Anderson 2001, Baron & Richardson 1994,
Berkowitz 1993, Geen 2001).

Any aggressive act (proximal intent to harm, target motivated to avoid the act) can be characterized along each
of the following dimensions: degree of hostile or agitated affect present; automaticity; degree to
which the primary (ultimate) goal is to harm the victim versus benefit the perpetrator; and degree
to which consequences are considered. Because many aggressive acts involve mixed motivations
or are sensitive to specific consequences, considering aggression along these four dimensions
rather than relying on dichotomous category systems provides researchers with a better means of
understanding aggression and of creating useful interventions (Anderson & Bushman, 2002;
Anderson & Huesmann, 2003; Bushman & Anderson, 2001).

The aggression machine paradigm (Buss, 1961) has been the primary laboratory procedure to measure direct physical aggression. This research design is concerned with the effects of punishment of learning; the participant is the tutor and the confederate a learner. The participant is given instructions to shock the confederate for any punishments to be given and aggression is measured with the intensity of the shock and the duration of the shock.
Another commonly used method for direct physical aggression is the Berkowitz’s (1962) paradigm, in this design the participant and confederate are placed in a situation that requires the confederate to evaluate the participant and later requires the participant the confederate. The evaluation is done using electric shocks from anywhere between the scale of 1-10. This measures the aggression of the participant in giving the evaluation of the confederate, revenge could be a key factor in this research method.

The commonly used research design for...