September 11: Immediate and Long Term Effects on Measures of Aggression, Prejudice, and Person Perception

Argyrides, Marios ; Downey, Jerrold L. (2004)


Tests of aggression, prejudice and a measure of how much uniqueness or similarity we perceive in others were administered to participants the day before the terrorist attacks of 9/ 11, the day of the attacks, six and seven days later, one month later, one year later, and two years later. Results show that aggression scores went up on 911 I, abated somewhat, then went back up a year later, but were not as high two years later. The prejudice scores showed no consistent change, but scores on the perception of similarity in other people by participants decreased over the two year time span. These measured dimensions are compared to "clinical" responses to trauma, such as stress and anxiety. The authors also discuss anniversary reactions to trauma, and the role of the media in spreading the effects of trauma to those not in close proximity to the event.

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