Aggressive Acts, Thinking, Remorse and Private Self-consciousness – An Examination of Real Life Aggressive Episodes

Article Title: Aggressive Acts, Thinking, Remorse and Private Self-consciousness – An Examination of Real Life Aggressive Episodes

Author(s): Naumana Amjad, Afifa Anjum, Saima Ghazal and Martin Skinner

Institute(s): Institute of Applied Psychology, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan; Michigan Technological University, USA; University of Warwick, UK

Journal: Pakistan Journal of Psychological Research, 2018, Vol. 33, No. 1, 277-297

Correspondence Address: Naumana Amjad, Institute of Applied Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. Email: naumana.appsy@pu.edu.pk

Abstract

The link between remorse, reflection and tendency for self consciousness has not been established in context of actual aggressive episodes. The present study aimed at examining retrospectively reported aggression episodes in everyday life, how individuals feel and think about their own acts afterward and the association between private self-consciousness (PSC) and post aggression feeling and reflection. The sample consisted of 62 high school students (age range 14-18 years) from West Midlands, United Kingdom. Participants provided brief descriptions of aggressive acts (shouting, insulting, and hitting), answered three questions about frequency of acts, feeling and reflection after the acts as well as completed Private Self-consciousness Scale (Scheier & Carver, 1985). The descriptions were content analyzed by two raters along pre-decided dimensions; target of aggression and triggering situation. Inter-rater agreement was satisfactory. Analyses showed that young persons shouted at siblings, friends, peers, mothers and other adults in this order of frequency. Hitting occurred between peers, siblings, other adults and friends. Verbal provocation, physical provocation, norm violation and indirect aggression were most frequent triggering situations for aggressive acts. Paired sample t-test showed that participants reported significantly higher remorse after being aggressive to someone who had not provoked them as compared to when provoked. Correlation analyses revealed remorse, reflection and private self-consciousness relating negatively to aggression frequency whereas PSC, reflection and feeling relating positively. Reflection predicted frequency of aggressive acts and one component of private self-consciousness, internal state awareness, predicted reflection. Findings and implications of the study are discussed with special focus on youth.

Keywords. Aggressive actions, feelings and thinking after aggressive acts, private self-consciousness, Youth

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