The voodoo doll task: Introducing and validating a novel method for studying aggressive inclinations.

TitleThe voodoo doll task: Introducing and validating a novel method for studying aggressive inclinations.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1969
JournalAggressive behavior
Volume39
Issue6
Pagination419-39
Date Published1969
ISSN0096-140X
Abstract

Aggression pervades modern life. To understand the root causes of aggression, researchers have developed several methods to assess aggressive inclinations. The current article introduces a new behavioral method-the voodoo doll task (VDT)-that offers a reliable and valid trait and state measure of aggressive inclinations across settings and relationship contexts. Drawing on theory and research on the law of similarity and magical beliefs (Rozin, Millman, & Nemeroff [1986], Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 703-712), we propose that people transfer characteristics of a person onto a voodoo doll representing that person. As a result, causing harm to a voodoo doll by stabbing it with pins may have important psychological similarities to causing actual harm to the person the voodoo doll represents. Nine methodologically diverse studies (total N = 1,376) showed that the VDT had strong reliability, construct validity, and convergent validity. Discussion centers on the importance of magical beliefs in understanding the causes of aggressive inclinations.

URLhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ab.21496
DOI10.1002/ab.21496
Short TitleAggress Behav
X
Enter your linkblue username.
Enter your linkblue password.
Secure Login

This login is SSL protected

Loading