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The effect of an app-based self-control training on reactive aggression

Toprakci, A.A. (2020) The effect of an app-based self-control training on reactive aggression.

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Abstract:Introduction: Reactive aggression has been a complex societal problem inherent to cases such as intimate partner violence, vandalism or using a weapon. According to research aggression can be decreased and inhibited through means of self-control training. A self-control training (SCT) intervention based around the usage of an individual’s non-dominant hand had shown promising results. The app HandSwitch, had been developed due to certain limitations the SCT faced. Through means of an app the SCT could be used in a greater capacity than a clinical setting. The goal of this study was to find whether the HandSwitch app had an effect on reactive aggression. Methods: The experiment (n = 136) used a between-subjects fractional factorial design with 2 components and 1 level. The participants were separated in 3 groups, which consisted of 2 app groups and 1 control group. The intervention lasted 10 days and consisted of 4 surveys. The surveys consisted of the Brief Self-Control Scale (BSCS), Brief Aggression Questionnaire (BAQ) and a Go/No-Go trial. Finally at the end 3 open questions about their perceived self-control, opinion on the intervention and improvements to the intervention were provided. Results: The mean self-control increased whereas the mean aggression decreased over the span of the intervention. Based on the results of the repeated measure ANOVA the BSCS had shown significant differences between time points within the group that received 5 tasks. The Go/No-Go and BAQ had significant differences within all 3 groups. Between the groups the BSCS had shown significant differences for day 5, the Go/No-Go for day 5 and day 10 and the BAQ for the posttest. The majority of the participants thought they felt no increase in self-control and wanted to see more reminders added along with changes made to the tasks. Discussion: While the results had shown a mean increase in self-control and decrease in aggression not all groups depicted a significant difference for self-control. This means that either the intervention has a fast acting influence or that there are other underlying factors. An increase in reminders and more personalization in the provided tasks may cause a difference in the statistically significance of the differences between and within the groups in terms of self-control. The results between the groups do point towards an effect of the intervention however when looking between the app groups and control group. Conclusion: It is inconclusive whether the HandSwitch app intervention has had an effect on the self-control and aggression of the participants. Future research would be recommended in order to pinpoint the possible underlying factors.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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