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Welcome to the Aggression and Intergroup Relations Lab Website!

Aggression and Intergroup Relations Lab Staff

Our Focus

As a Social Psychology research lab, our aim is to study social interaction and social influence particularly as it relates to better understanding the factors that impact aggressive behavior.  Under the direction of Dr. Bill Pedersen, we investigate a variety of personality and situational factors that impact both interpersonal and intergroup violence.  For more information about specific research questions we aim to address, as well as current and past student research assistants, please follow the links on the left of this page.

Projects and Research Questions

Does thinking about a provoking situation in a group produce more aggression then when you think about it by yourself?

Individual rumination can be defined as perseveratively thinking about a provoking incident, while collective rumination refers to the same process in the context of a discussion with other people.  In our lab we have conducted a series of studies showing that, relative to individual rumination, collective rumination increases aggressive behavior.  We are investigating moderators and mediators collective rumination on both direct and displaced aggression and the impact of collective rumination in intergroup settings.

Can priming people with thoughts about alcohol or religion impact aggressive behavior?

Cues outside of awareness (priming) can impact behavior.  In our lab we have performed various studies indicating that people primed with alcohol related words are more aggressive following an ambiguous provocation.  We also have shown that priming people with certain religious concepts can reduce aggression.  We are currently investigating the impact of alcohol priming on triggered displaced aggression.

Does resource inequality and perceptions of unfairness impact rumination and retributive justice

We have conducted a series of studies in our lab investigating the relationship of resource inequality, appraisals of unfairness, rumination (i.e., stewing about something that makes you mad), anger, and retributive justice. We are also looking at various personality variables that moderate these effects.

Lab Images

SPSP 2   pic 8 SPSP 1   pic 1 Graduation 2017 -- Sarah LeBlanc and Me   pic 9 pic 5 pic 11 WPA 2   pic 3 pic 7 pic 10 WPA 1   pic 6 Graduation 2015 -- CSULB (pic 2)   pic 4 Graduation 2017 -- Chris Gunderson and Me

Lab News