Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Simon, Seymore||Ditrichs, Raymond

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Psychology


Race relations; Social conflict; Violence


In studying variables which might influence interracial aggression, two experiments investigated the effects of Anonymity (S known or unknown to his target), Expected Retaliation (S aware or unaware that he would change roles with target), Race of Target (black or white), and a Racial Disturbance on the aggression (electric shock) delivered to and anticipated from black and white targets by white subjects. Experiment I comprised a 3 x 2 x 2 x 2 incomplete factorial with Retaliation Instructions, Anonymity, Race of Target, and Target Replication treated as factors. The data were first subjected to a principal components analysis with mean shock intensity, mean shock duration, and sum of high shock intensities as the dependent variables. Statistical analyses were then conducted on the resulting three aggression components: General Overt, Covert, and Extreme Aggression. It was found that under a Nonanonymous Condition less aggression was delivered to black than to white targets, the reverse being obtained under an Anonymous Condition. Less aggression was delivered to black than to white targets when was told that retaliation would follow and the reverse obtained when S was not given these instructions. Also, when Ss gave less overt aggression to black targets they tended to be more covertly aggressive. Anticipated aggression results indicated that Ss expected more aggression from black than from white targets regardless of their delivered aggression. Experiment II was conducted after a racial disturbance had occurred on campus. Replicating the Anonymity Conditions of Experiment I with all Ss not expecting retaliation, results indicated an increase in extreme aggression toward blacks regardless of Anonymity following the disturbance, with no comparable increase for whites. Relative to the results obtained in Experiment I, there were no reliable changes in the general overt and covert measures, although there was some decrease in covert aggression delivered to black targets under non- anonymous conditions. The results of both experiments were discussed in terms of the theories of aggression and related to the current black militant movement.


Includes bibliographical references.||Includes illustrations.


76 pages




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