Role of prevolitional processes in aggressive behavior: the indirect influence of goal



The central aim of this article is to investigate the relationship between prevolitional processes and aggressive behavior. More specifically, the role of the goal underlying aggressive behavior was examined. A model of attitude, the Extended Model of Goal-directed Behavior, was tested with structural equation models to analyze the process that leads to the verbally aggressive behavior of calling someone names. Results showed that Goal Desire was a significant predictor but its relation to behavior is indirect, through desire toward and intention of calling someone names. Moreover, the results indicated that the positive emotions one anticipates if successful in calling someone names and the control one has over calling someone names play a significant role in the desire to call someone names. The discussion emphasizes the necessity of considering prevolitional processes when studying deliberative processes involved in the emergence of aggressive behavior. Aggr. Behav. 37:36–47, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.