Date of Award

January 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Alan King


The present study used a modified version of the Taylor Aggression Paradigm to test whether a form of visual provocation might be more salient in producing a physically aggressive response than a physical stimulus (i.e., shock). Male and female university undergraduates were recruited to participate, and assigned to one of three conditions: accurate visual feedback (in which feedback reflected accurately the physical shock received), low visual feedback (in which feedback reflected a lower value than the physical shock received), or high visual feedback (in which feedback reflected a higher value than the physical shock received). Aggressive responses were defined by the extent to which participants chose to shock a fictitious opponent without provocation (baseline), as well as under conditions of low and high provocation. A significant main effect of the visual feedback was observed, with the low feedback condition differing significantly from the accurate and high feedback conditions. Contrary to predictions, the interaction between gender and visual feedback condition was non-significant; both males' and females' responses were influenced by the visual feedback. Results are discussed within the context of Social Role Theory and the impact of gender role on gender differences in aggression.