Toward a More Valid Assessment of Behavioral Aggression: An Open Source Platform and an Empirically Derived Scoring Method for Using the Competitive Reaction Time Task (CRTT)

Jill Lobbestael*, Franziska Emmerling, Suzanne Brugman, Nick Broers, Alexander T. Sack, Teresa Schuhmann, Charlie Bonnemayer, Richard Benning, Arnoud Arntz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

While the Competitive Reaction Time Task (CRTT) is the most used behavioral aggression paradigm, it is characterized by methodological heterogeneity and quantification strategies for its' outcome are unstandardized. Therefore, the standards of measuring aggression should be improved. This article contributes on such an improvement by providing: (a) a freely available CRTT online administration program, and (b) a factor-analytically derived scoring method. Based on a combined sample (n = 423), a two-factor model was fit to the 30-trial CRTT version. The first factor included all trial scores subsequent to the first time the participant received aversive feedback (i.e., provoked factor) and the second factor included all trial scores prior to this first aversive feedback (i.e., unprovoked factor). Construct validity was evidenced based on the factors` differential relationship with self-reported aggression and narcissism. Our factor analytic findings empirically support the superiority of one of the existing CRTT scoring methods, that is, separately averaging all preprovocation versus all postprovocation trials. We discuss practical recommendations for CRTT users and outline future empirical avenues. This article aims at stimulating joint efforts to move toward standardization of CRTT implementation and outcome measure analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1073191120959757
Pages (from-to)1065-1079
Number of pages15
JournalAssessment
Volume28
Issue number4
Early online date23 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Competitive Reaction Time Task
  • aggression
  • scoring algorithm
  • aggression assessment
  • VIOLENT VIDEO GAMES
  • PROACTIVE AGGRESSION
  • LABORATORY AGGRESSION
  • TRAIT AGGRESSIVENESS
  • PERSONALITY-TRAITS
  • SELF-ESTEEM
  • HOT SAUCE
  • NARCISSISM
  • PROVOCATION
  • TAYLOR

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