Date of Graduation

Spring 2016


Master of Science in Psychology



Committee Chair

D. Wayne Mitchell


The relationship between an individual's propensity of displaying aggressive behavior, as assessed via the Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire, and physiological responses (evoked heart rate (HR)) while viewing 5-sec video clips of aggressive and friendly dyadic interactions was examined. No significant differences between aggressive and friendly groups' Evoked HR were found. However, there were significant individual differences in aggression identified within the aggressive and friendly video groups. Individuals who scored low on Buss-Perry Verbal Aggression subscale displayed HR deceleration, whereas individuals who scored high on Buss-Perry Verbal Aggression subscale displayed HR acceleration when viewing verbal but not physically aggressive video clips. This trend was also evident for the relationship between the Buss-Perry Anger subscale when viewing friendly helping video clips. How individuals with different propensity of aggressive behavior react to friendly interactions are interpreted via an empathy-emotion model of aggression. The findings support the use of implicit measures such as HR that could be employed in a therapeutic setting to assist aggressive individuals in recognizing the connection between stimulus events that elicit an emotional response and subsequent inappropriate behavior(s).


heart rate, Buss-Perry Aggression Scale, acceleration, deceleration, Aggressive behavior, anger, hostile, empathy, verbal aggression, physical aggression

Subject Categories



© Sarhand Awla Hasan

Open Access

Included in

Psychology Commons