Studying aggression in the field: influences of dynamics of the setting on atmosphere and aggressive behavior.

Kalinauskaite, I., Haans, A., Kort, Y. de (2016). Studying aggression in the field: influences of dynamics of the setting on atmosphere and aggressive behavior. Conferentiebijdrage EDRA47Raleigh 18-21 May, Raleigh NC, USA.


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Aggression in an urban nightlife setting is more than just a physical fight or a verbal insult. Aggression is also the tension floating in the air; changes in which are noticed by visitors, police officers and security guards. It seems that when this tension in the atmosphere increases so does, the likelihood of aggressive behavior in the crowd. Although most researchers acknowledge that aggression is a highly context dependent behavior, to date it has predominantly been studied in controlled laboratory settings.

These studies have been advancing our understanding of how psychological variables (e.g., affect, frustration) and environmental stimuli and conditions (e.g., presence of weapons, or temperature) affect tendencies to aggress, however the lack of research in situ has not allowed a systematic study of interaction between environment (e.g. “atmosphere” and “tensions”) and behavior.