Effects of alcohol and weapon cues on aggressive thoughts and behaviors

B. Subra, D. Muller, L. Bègue, B.J. Bushman, F. Delmas

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Numerous studies have shown that alcohol increases aggression. In this article it is proposed that the link between alcohol and aggression is so strong that mere exposure to alcohol-related cues will automatically activate aggressive thoughts and behaviors. Two experiments tested this automaticity theory of alcohol-related aggression. In Experiment 1, participants exposed to alcohol- or weapon-related primes made faster lexical decisions about aggression-related words than did participants exposed to neutral primes. In Experiment 2, participants exposed to alcohol- or aggression-related subliminal primes were more aggressive toward the experimenter than were participants exposed to neutral subliminal primes. In both experiments, the effects of alcohol-related cues were as strong as the effect of aggression-related cues on aggressive thoughts and behaviors. People do not need to drink a drop of alcohol to become aggressive; exposure to alcohol cues is enough to automatically increase aggression. © 2010 Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1052-1057
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume36
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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