Effect of power to harm on retaliative aggression among males and females

Deborah R. Richardson, Robert J. Vandenberg, Sarah A. Humphries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The present studies examined the effect of differential power to cause harm to one another on individuals' retaliative responding. Participants with less, equal, or greater power relative to their target set shocks for one another in the context of a reaction-time task. Those in the less power condition consistently set higher shocks for their targets than did participants in greater or equal power conditions. Female participants were less likely than males to use an extreme violent response. The effects of power were seen most clearly when the target was male. Results are discussed in terms of equity considerations in human aggressive interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)402-419
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Psychology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of power to harm on retaliative aggression among males and females'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this