Leonard Berkowitz

Leonard Berkowitz
University of Wisconsin–Madison | UW

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146
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Publications

Publications (146)
Article
The common, everyday understanding of anger is problematic in a number of respects—in its inattention to the prototypic nature of this emotional state; in its failure to recognize the important role often played by the critical event's aversiveness; and in its neglect of the frequently close connection between anger arousal and aggression-related m...
Article
The aim of this paper is to study the relationship between violence and characteristics of the individual and of the social context. As part of the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development, which is a prospective longitudinal survey, 389 youths were interviewed at age 18–19 and asked to give accounts of fights. A distinction was drawn between indi...
Article
This chapter is a critical discussion of J. Freedman's article in "Psychological Bulletin," 1984, 96, 227-246 (see record 1984-30860-001). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Chapter
Without questioning that people’s appraisals of the situations they are in can greatly determine what emotions they experience, this chapter argues that traditional appraisal accounts of anger genesis are seriously incomplete and that anger can at times arise in ways not anticipated by appraisal formulations. Anger is here regarded as an experience...
Article
Although many discussions of the effects of media violence focus on the long-term consequences of frequent exposure to these depictions, short-term influences are also important, and adults as well as children observing aggression are apt to become more aggressive themselves for a brief period afterward. Such an effect is largely due to the activat...
Article
Without slighting the important role played by controlled psychological processes in human aggression, this paper recommends that considerable systematic attention should also be given to the operation of automatic processes in bringing about this behavior. The concepts of automaticity and impulsivity are discussed briefly and it is proposed that m...
Article
Eighty university students, half men and half women, were distributed evenly among 4 conditions in a one-way design. Three of the groups heard a seven-minute-long musical selection, either soothing, stimulating, or aversive in nature, while the remaining subjects were not exposed to any music and sat still. Ratings indicated that the soothing and s...
Article
The present experiment attempted to integrate the research on helpfulness in which subjects work for someone else in an artificial laboratory setting (Berkowitz & Daniels, 1963; Berkowitz, 1972) with the bystander-intervention-in-emergencies studies often carried out under more realistic conditions (e.g., Latané & Darley, 1970; Schwartz & Clausen,...
Article
Although considerable research indicates that aversive conditions (such as uncomfortably high temperatures) often evoke aggressive inclinations, there is also evidence that people are attracted to those who share their discomfort. In a 2 × 2 design, female participants in either a hot or comfortable room worked with a nearby partner exposed to the...
Chapter
Social Representations of AngerSome Questions about Appraisal Analyses of AngerAnger Experience and BehaviorConclusion References
Article
Full-text available
Research bearing on several popular conceptions of the major determinants of anger arousal indicates that the particular appraisals often identified as causes of anger frequently only serve to affect the intensity of the anger that is generated. Research into effects of physical pain or other physically unpleasant conditions or involving social str...
Article
Full-text available
The authors propose that (a) although strong negative affect can evoke anger without appraisals, appraisals after the initial reactions conceivably might influence the later emotional experience independently of the felt displeasure; (b) maintaining that particular stimuli can automatically elicit anger does not imply that anger will be dominant; a...
Article
Full-text available
Research on violent television and films, video games, and music reveals unequivocal evidence that media violence increases the likelihood of aggressive and violent behavior in both immediate and long-term contexts. The effects appear larger for milder than for more severe forms of aggression, but the effects on severe forms of violence are also su...
Article
Full-text available
1. Introduction 2. Feelings: their nature and causes 3. More on the causes of feelings: appraisals and bodily reactions 4. Influences of feelings on memory 5. Personal traumas and memory 6. Feeling effects on judgments and decision making 7. Feelings, persuasion, and motivation 8. Feelings and social behavior.
Article
Full-text available
Social psychology as a discipline has given relatively little attention to the problem of evil in society, and those discussions in this field that do exist typically regard evil actions as only varieties of aggression without any characteristics that distinguish them from other forms of intentional mistreatment of others. Because of the field's si...
Article
Social psychology has been skirting the problem of evil for generations. It has examined a number of ways that people harm one another by physical assaults, derogation, or neglect. However, very few social psychologists, with the notable exception of such writers as Milgram (1974), Kelman and Hamilton (1989), and Staub (1989), have risked an analys...
Chapter
It has long been a virtual truism throughout the social sciences that people’s actions result from their decisions, whether these are made consciously or unconsciously. Standard economics and the other decision sciences obviously take this idea for granted as they focus on how people choose among alternative courses of action by considering the cos...
Article
Contrary to the claim that social psychology has always been cognitive, important early researchers actually had an associationistic perspective. Today's cognitivism is more similar to contemporary associationism than is often supposed because it no longer maintains the necessity of an active mental transformation of sensory input and recognizes au...
Article
a considerable body of research indicates that the depictions of aggression in the mass media can influence the thinking and actions of people in the audience and that the concern about these media effects is warranted / attempts to account for some of this influence by focusing on one set of psychological processes that could be set into operation...
Article
Consistent with the cognitive-neoassociationistic conception of anger and emotional aggression, a wide variety of studies with animal as well as human subjects demonstrate that pain often gives rise to an inclination to hurt an available target, and also, at the human level, that people in pain are apt to be angry. However, and also in accord with...
Article
start by contrasting two different approaches to the study of anger and emotional aggression in order to identify some of the shortcomings in the conventional cognitive formulations of anger / [hope to contribute] to the development of a more sophisticated and broader ranging theory of emotion, one that will have major cognitive components, by firs...
Article
It is suggested that an unduly conservative research tradition operates in social psychology to heighten the perception of inconsistency in research replications. In large part, this tradition, producing a bias in favor of the null hypothesis, stems from a belief in "the law of small numbers" and a failure to appreciate the probabilistic nature of...
Article
Noting the occasional inconsistency in the results of studies of the effects of negative affect on thoughts and actions in social situations, it is suggested that: (1) self-regulatory mechanisms sometimes intervene to determine what people experiencing unpleasant feeling will say (and maybe think) about others around them; and (2) at least some of...
Article
Noting that a wide variety of unpleasant feelings, including sadness and depression, apparently can give rise to anger and aggression, I propose a cognitive-neoassociationistic model to account for the effects of negative affect on the development of angry feelings and the display of emotional aggression. Negative affect tends to activate ideas, me...
Article
The decreased attenttion to dissonance theory in present-day social psychology is used to illustrate extratheoretical considerations that influence acceptance of a formulation in the scientific community. The authors suggest that dissonance theory currently receives less attention because its motivational emphasis is outside the core assumptions in...
Article
The authors briefly respond to several of the issues raised in the articles commenting on their analysis of research traditions in social psychology and specifically on their treatment of dissonance theory. The authors' goal was not to engage in a protracted debate but to highlight some overarching issues in contemporary social psychology in order...
Article
Examines the Dollard et al. (1939) frustration-aggression hypothesis. The original formulation's main proposition is limited to interference with an expected attainment of a desired goal on hostile (emotional) aggression. Although some studies have yielded negative results, others support the core proposition. Frustrations can create aggressive inc...
Article
According to Berkowitz's (1983, American Psychologist, 38, 1135–1144) analysis of aversively stimulated aggression, negative affect produces a rudimentary experience of anger along with an instigation to aggression, while higher order cognitive processing activated by deliberate thought can then intervene to influence the specific nature of the emo...
Article
The frustration-aggression hypothesis advanced by Dollard, Doob, Miller, Mowrer, and Sears is briefly summarized and it is noted that 1) a frustration can be defined as the nonfulfillment of an expected gratification, and 2) the instigation to aggression produced by a frustration is an inclination to hostile (or angry) and not instrumental aggressi...
Article
In an investigation of the determinants of pay satisfaction, we held telephone interviews with 248 fully employed men in Dane County, Wisconsin, asking about their income, job satisfaction, and other economic and demographic matters. The social and industrial-organizational psychology literature suggests that pay satisfaction could be influenced by...
Article
In order to examine the possibility that the inability to escape from aversive stimulation heightens the instigation to aggression, 68 university men were exposed to a cold stressor situation in which the subjects immersed one hand in water that was either 6 or 18°C. Half of the participants were given permission to take their hand from the water w...
Article
Full-text available
Two experiments using female subjects investigated the effects of mood and self-focused attention on the willingness to help another. Experiment 1 induced a positive, negative, or neutral mood and also two kinds of high self-awareness (by either the mirror procedure or requiring essays) as well as a low self-awareness condition. Experiment 2 used a...
Article
An experiment was conducted to determine if the relatively strong negative affect generated by anticipation of pain from exposure to aversive stimulation would give rise to an instigation to aggression and accompanying feelings of annoyance-irritation-anger. The 45 undergraduate women in the study were required to immerse their nondominant hand in...
Article
We examine the assumptions that are generally made when it is argued that a set of experimental findings is due to the subjects'' compliance to demand characteristics. There is little evidence supporting many of these assumptions: that many experimental subjects disbelieve the cover story given them, that they are eager to search for clues revealin...
Article
Contends, on the basis of evidence from research, that mass media communications can give the audience ideas that may then be translated into open behavior. Studies indicate that the depictions of anti- and prosocial behavior activate thoughts that are semantically related to the observed event. This spreading activation of the related thought elem...
Article
In order to examine audience effects when viewing filmed violence, male subjects watched an aggressive or a neutral movie either alone, accompanied by a passive confederate (i.e. mere presence of a co-spectator), or an active one (i.e. reacting to the movie). The subsequent behavioural measures of subjects' aggression were collected via a modified...
Article
On the basis of a review of research with animals and humans, it is argued that a broad range of aversive conditions evoke both flight and fight inclinations. Various factors determine the relative strengths of these dispositions so that the instigation to aggression is not always apparent in overt behavior. It is also maintained that the aversivel...
Article
Two experiments sought to demonstrate that self-concern lowers the willingness to be helpful. In the first study, high self-concern was established in half of the male subjects by giving them a test of "social intelligence." Then, ostensibly in an unrelated manner, all of the participants were asked to help the experimenter, but half thought this a...
Article
Discusses some criticisms of laboratory experiments in psychology, emphasizing the claim that these experiments lack external validity. It is suggested that representative designs are inadequate for testing causal hypotheses, that ecological validity may facilitate the formulation of population estimates but is not necessary for causal hypothesis t...
Article
The present study was designed to investigate whether the behavioral characteristics of the people in erotic films and the nature of the targets available for aggression afterward can affect subsequent aggression. In Experiment 1, male subjects were angered by a male or female confederate. They were then shown a neutral film or one of three erotic...
Article
Several studies have indicated that anger arousal elicits instigation to inflict injury, but there is good evidence to date that noninsulting aversive events also create a desire to hurt someone. The verbal hostility or physical aggression displayed in previous investigations of the effects of such aversive stimuli might be expressions of an instig...
Article
Although it is commonly assumed that the nature of any given frustration (defined as an unexpected barrier to goal attainment) affects the strength of the resulting instigation to aggression, the present paper argues that the type of frustration, ie, whether it is legitimate or illegitimate, can also influence the strength of an overt attack upon a...
Article
Extending the notion that aversive environmental stimuli can facilitate the display of involuntary aggressive reactions by those who are set to aggress, two experiments asked whether a child possessing unpleasant physical characteristics will be punished more severely than a normal-appearing youngster. In the first study, subjects (56 women) in a 2...
Article
Sixty university men who had been treated harshly by the experimenter's accomplice were distributed evenly among four conditions comprising a 2 × 2 factorial design and a “control” group. All of the men watched a moderately aggressive segment from a TV program but in the former case they were given a story summary which depicted the witnessed aggre...
Article
Findings suggest that some results obtained in laboratory experiments can be generalized to apply to the viewing experience in real-life settings.
Article
Analyses of criminal violence often fail to draw the important distinction between angry and instrumental aggression. The former is directed mainly toward the injury of the intended target, whereas the latter is instrumental to attaining another goal such as social approval. Various conceptions, including the subculture of violence idea, assume tha...
Article
To establish an analogue of the “weapons effect,” male university subjects were required to use a distinctive apparatus in delivering noxious sounds to a peer in an adjoining room, and then were either (a) positively reinforced, or (b) negatively reinforced, or (c) not given any reaction by the experimenter, for what they had done. Immediately afte...
Article
Evidence is presented suggesting that firearms violence is an important social problem. Research strongly suggests that the effectiveness of firearms as a cause of death and injury may be due to their widespread availability, their lethality, and the impulsivity of their use. The investigation of a possible causal link between firearms and impulsiv...
Article
Male college students participated in an experiment designed to associate a neutral stimulus with a victim's pain and then to assess the impact of the paired stimulus on their aggression. The subjects were either provoked or not provoked by a confederate's shock evaluation. They then observed a flashing white light that was associated with either t...
Article
Conducted 2 experiments to test the influence of cognitive dissonance on helping. Both studies employed a modification on the standard, dissonance-arousing, counterattitudinal role-playing paradigm and female undergraduates as Ss (50 in Exp I and 40 in Exp II). For 25 Ss in Exp I, a mood-enhancing experience was interposed between commitment to an...
Article
Highlights contributions toward a general theory of social interaction with respect to perceived equity in social interactions. Equity theory examines business relationships, exploitative relationships, harmdoers' responses, restoration of equity, reactions of the exploited, helping relationships, and intimate relations. An annotated bibliography a...
Article
In this quasi-experimental field study, delinquent members belonging to two cottages viewed aggressive commercial movies every evening for a week, while at the same time, subjects from two other cottages were exposed to neutral commercial movies. Behavioral observations were obtained through a nonhier-archical, minimally inferential procedure of a...
Article
Full-text available
In order to determine whether juvenile delinquents would respond to the sight of someone being beaten up the same way as previously studied university students, two-thirds of the in stitutionalized delinquents in the sample watched a brief filmed prize fight after having been insulted or treated in a neutral fashion by the experimenter's confederat...
Article
Designed 2 experiments to show that the interpretation of an observed event affects the strength of the aggressive reactions provoked by the scene. In Exp I, employing films of either a prize fight or a football game, angry university men (n = 80) were more aggressive toward their tormentor immediately after the movie if the contest had been define...
Article
Notes that a demand, explicit or implicit, to help someone, and even a felt obligation to do this, is often resented because the demand or obligation is a bothersome threat to the individual's freedom of action. Evidence is cited in accord with J. Brehm's (see PA, Vol. 41:8061) reactance theory indicating that increased pressure to aid a person in...
Article
This chapter discusses social norms, feelings, and other factors that influence helping and altruism. Externally derived incentives are undoubtedly major determinants of behavior, perhaps more important than internalized ideals for many persons and in many situations. But there is probably a far greater incidence of selfless action on behalf of oth...
Article
Investigated whether implicit aggressive verbalizations would facilitate aggressive reactions to movie violence in a 3 * 2 design with a total of 78 male undergraduates. In 1 variation, all Ss were made to be angry toward the E's confederate in order to imagine themselves as the movie character who wins the film fight, or as the judge who watches t...
Article
Discusses M. Page and R. Scheidt's (see pa, vol. 47:issue 5) critique of the "weapons effect" experiment. It is noted that (a) awareness of the experimental variables does not in itself prove that ss know the study's hypothesis or are motivated to confirm it; and (b) consistent with berkowitz's classical conditioning model, there are indications th...
Article
Statistical and graphic analyses of data from 40 U.S. cities indicate that President Kennedy's assassination in November 1963 and the Speck and Whitman crimes in the Summer of 1966 were followed by unusual increases in the number of violent crimes. Although we cannot exclude the possibility that only police actions (such as reporting violent crimes...
Article
A survey of a number of social psychology books reveals glaring errors in the reporting of the findings in the now classic experiment by Schachter on deviation and rejection. Authors all too frequently have assimilated and sharpened their summaries of this study to a general theme, omitting important details inconsistent with their theme, and also...
Article
To test the notion that the witnessing of aggressive humor can produce a cathartic purge of the O's aggressive inclinations, 80 female undergraduates were 1st either angered or not aroused by having them hear a job applicant's statements about university women. In a factorial design, Ss then listened to a 4-min tape recording, either of a nonhostil...
Article
Reviews the literature and reinterprets evidence presumably indicative of hostility catharsis. It is proposed that the sight of people being injured aggressively (to an appropriate degree) is a reinforcement for those Os who are angry or who have been frequently rewarded for aggression. As a reinforcement, this stimulus might be gratifying, but it...
Article
Investigated whether different empathic responses, generated by different observational sets, could mediate the influence of models on helping behavior. 120 male undergraduates listened to a taped conversation between a person in need of help and a potential helper, under instructions to attend to 1 of the 2 speakers, imagining themselves as that p...
Article
provides [a] formulation of his associationist theory of how affect interacts with cognitions to moderate and mediate aggressive behavior / argues that situationally stimulated negative affect is likely to produce associations to hostile thoughts and memories, but—if higher order cognitive processes are engaged that restrain these more primitive as...
Article
Trained 60 male undergraduates to have a negative attitude toward a critical name, using the A. Staats and C. Staats (see 33:4) conditioning procedure. Semantic differential ratings demonstrated the success of the conditioning. Following this, 1/2 of the Ss were deliberately angered by the E, and then all went to a 2nd study in which they discussed...
Article
Two hundred and twenty-eight college men and women were individually assigned to supervise the work of two same-sex peers who were eligible for a cash prize although no prize was available for the subject. One of the workers asked for help, either because of the experimenter's mistake (external locus of dependency), or because of the person's own d...
Article
As a 1st test of the thesis that the individual comes to want to attack the person he believes has caused his anger reactions (internal visceral, motor, and ideational responses he labels as "anger"), 48 male undergraduates were 1st exposed to an obnoxious accomplice of the E and then were induced to think that they were either low, moderate, or hi...
Article
120 male undergraduates 1st listened to a taped conversation between a person in need of help and a potential helper. The potential helper either did not help; helped, but was not thanked; or helped and was thanked. After completing a mood questionnaire, Ss were requested to help the E. Os who had attended to either the unaided person in need or to...
Article
Is readiness to behave in a socially responsible manner related to certain behavior and attitudes? This study of associations between a personality scale and other survey responses indicates that 'high responsibles' tend to be conservative people who embrace the traditional ideas of their society.
Article
DISCUSSES THE FRUSTRATION-AGGRESSION HYPOTHESIS AS IT APPLIES TO URBAN VIOLENCE AND CIVIL DISORDER, WHICH CONTENDS THAT "THE CAUSE OF CIVIL TRANQUILITY IS BEST SERVED BY ELIMINATING BARRIERS TO THE SATISFACTION OF HUMAN NEEDS AND WANTS." THE LITERATURE IN THIS FIELD IS REVIEWED AND IT IS CONCLUDED THAT "THE ROOTS OF . . . VIOLENCE ARE NOT TO BE FOU...
Article
As a partial replication of an experiment with American male adolescents, an experiment was conducted with 192 white teenage volunteers from the state schools in Oxford, England. The subjects, who came from either bureaucratic middle-class or working-class families, had an opportunity to help a peer after they themselves had received great or littl...
Article
An experiment was conducted with English university students to determine if knowledge of the existence of criminal laws regarding certain forms of conduct as well as information concerning peer opinions on these matters could alter judgments of the morality or immorality of the pertinent actions. The students first indicated their attitudes on a l...
Article
TESTED THE HYPOTHESIS THAT STIMULI COMMONLY ASSOCIATED WITH AGGRESSION CAN ELICIT AGGRESSIIVE RESPONSES FROM PEOPLE READY TO ACT AGGRESSIVELY. 100 MALE UNIVERSITY SS RECEIVED EITHER 1 OR 7 SHOCKS, SUPPOSEDLY FROM A PEER, AND WERE THEN GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHOCK THIS PERSON. IN SOME CASES A RIFLE AND REVOLVER WERE NEAR THE SHOCK KEY. THESE WEAPON...
Article
EACH OF 90 MALE SS WAS 1ST DELIBERATELY PROVOKED BY E'S ACCOMPLICE, THEN WATCHED EITHER (1) JUSTIFIED FILM AGGRESSION, (2) LESS JUSTIFIED FILM AGGRESSION, OR (3) AN EXCITING BUT NONAGGRESSIVE TRACK RACE. HE WAS THEN GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO ADMINISTER ELECTRIC SHOCKS TO THE ACCOMPLICE, AFTER LEARNING THE ACCOMPLICE'S NAME WAS EITHER "KIRK" OR "BOB."...

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