Effect of Watching Aggressive Interactions on Stress

The Effect of Watching Aggressive Interactions on Stress

Joe Student

Nova Southeastern University

PSYC 1020: Introduction to Psychology

Dr. Sternglanz

April 4th, 2006

The Effect of Watching Aggressive Interactions on Stress

Health psychologists have demonstrated that repeated exposure to aggressive behavior can be stressful (Smith, Bird, & Jones, 1974; Doe, 1989)…..

Note that the heading of the Introduction is the title of the paper, rather than the word “Introduction.” In the Introduction, you review numerous studies in the area you are researching. You don’t have to mention everything about the journal articles you cite; just talk about the parts that are relevant to your topic. Ideally, your paper should flow as a cohesive “story” about a certain area of research. That is, you are summarizing the state of research on a given topic; naturally, in order to do that, you need to explain what studies have been done on this topic. If you can integrate your article explanations together to provide a cohesive picture of the research in this area, that’s great. Even if your articles contradict each other, you can discuss the dilemma of which viewpoint is the correct one.

Remember, every assertion in the text of your paper must be cited. Remember that most, if not all, of your references should be from empirical journal articles. Empirical journal articles are articles in which the researchers conducted a study or studies. You can find these empirical journal articles through the PsycInfo database, and you can read them in the journal stacks on the second floor of the NSU Alvin Sherman Library. In your paper, citations should include the authors and the year.  If the two or more author names are inside parentheses (), you use an “&”.  If you use the author names outside of parentheses, you use the word “and.” Here are some examples below:

Researchers have found that parents can read the facial expressions of their own children more accurately than those of other children (Zuckerman & Prewuzman, 1979).

Zuckerman and Prewuzman (1979) found that parents can read the facial expressions of their own children more accurately than those of other children.

Page numbers are not given unless there is a direct quote. Below are some examples if you are quoting the author directly. You should try to keep direct quotes to a minimum; it is much better to paraphrase and put the quote into your own words.

According to a recent study, “one out of six women are sexually assaulted” (Jones & Smith, 1998, p. 32).

According to Jones and Smith (1998, p. 32), “one out of six women are sexually assaulted.” In 1998, Jones and Smith (p. 32) said, “One out of six women are sexually assaulted.”

Your Introduction should start off with an opening paragraph (in which you introduce the topic and provide some context for it), then go into your review of the relevant literature (citing articles where appropriate), and end with the hypothesis for your study. An example of an ending for an Introduction section (i.e., the hypothesis) appears below.

Although many studies have investigated the relationship between aggression and stress, no one has looked specifically at the effects of watching an aggressive interaction on stress. In the present research, the effects of watching an aggressive interaction will be examined. It is predicted that participants who watch an aggressive interaction will experience higher levels of stress than participants who do not watch an aggressive interaction.



Four-hundred undergraduates at a large university in Southern Florida will participate in the study. All participants will be between the ages of 18 and 24.


A polygraph will be used to determine participants’ skin conductance levels…..

A questionnaire will also be used to measure stress (see Appendix A).


Participants will be recruited through advertisements posted on a college campus…..

The study will take place in a large college campus auditorium. Participants will be run in groups of ten. When participants arrive at the auditorium, they will be greeted and asked to read and sign an informed consent agreement. Then the experimenter will ask participants to…..

The procedure should include every step that participants will go through. If someone else wanted to run your study, he or she should be able to do so after reading your procedure. In addition, the variables should be clearly defined. For an experiment, the procedure should explain precisely how the dependent or outcome measure(s) will be measured, and should explain precisely how the two or more conditions of the independent variable(s) will be set up. For a correlational study, the procedure should explain exactly how the two (or more) variables will be measured.

Upon completion of the study, participants will be thanked for their time and thoroughly debriefed.


Doe, J. (1989). The relationship between aggression and stress. Personality and Social

Psychology Bulletin83, 589-605. doi:10.1037/pspb.1989.26.10.1120

Jones, A. B., & Smith, C. D. (1998). Sexual assault and dating. In B. R. Egan (Ed.),

Gender across the lifespan (pp. 31-59). New York: Springer.

Smith, C. D., Bird, L. J., and Jones, A. B. (1974). Aggressive behavior in professional

athletes predicts stress-related heart problems. Journal of Sports Psychology13,

432-439. doi:12.1897/jsp.1974.24.12.1999

Zuckerman, M., and Prewuzman, H. C. (1979). Parents’ skill at decoding nonverbal

cues of their children. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology78, 304-

311. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.75.3.1067

Appendix A

Stress Questionnaire

Please answer the following questions. Simply circle the letter that best indicates how you feel at this moment.

1. How anxious do you feel right now?

A – Not at all anxious

B – A little anxious

C – Moderately anxious

D – Very anxious

E – Extremely anxious

[etc. …]

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