MOOD AND VIOLENCE SENSITIVITY: USING AN EMOTION ELICITATION PARADIGM TO ASSESS PERCEPTIONS OF VIOLENCE SEVERITY
This study aimed to examine the effects different emotions had on perceptions of violent behaviors. Students from an introductory psychology course (n = 517), were randomly assigned to one of five different emotion elicitation conditions (anger, fear, sadness, happiness, and neutral) using one of two methods (automatic story recall and film clip procedure). Perceptions of violence were measured using a modified version of the Violence Sensitivity Magnitude Estimation Scale (VSMES) which asks
... SMES) which asks participants to rate a series of behaviors as to the severity of violence. Trait aggression was found to mediate the relationship between emotion and perceptions of violence. No significant differences were found between the two methods or the five emotion groups. However, significant differences between violence-sensitive and violence-tolerant groups were found, confirming findings from the previous literature. Future research and implications using the VSMES are discussed. iii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank my advisor Dr. Charles Collyer for his support through the completion of this project. It has been a long road, my progress being halted with my breast cancer diagnosis in July 2012. He was supportive during my surgery and chemotherapy treatments, when I had to slow down my coursework and thesis progress. He was understanding when my thesis progress took longer than expected and when I had to catch up on coursework due to my treatments. Overall, he provided kind words and laughter on the hardest days.