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      When God Sanctions Killing : Effect of Scriptural Violence on Aggression

      1 , 2 , 3 , 2 , 3 , 3

      Psychological Science

      Wiley

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          Abstract

          Violent people often claim that God sanctions their actions. In two studies, participants read a violent passage said to come from either the Bible or an ancient scroll. For half the participants, the passage said that God sanctioned the violence. Next, participants competed with an ostensible partner on a task in which the winner could blast the loser with loud noise through headphones (the aggression measure). Study 1 involved Brigham Young University students; 99% believed in God and in the Bible. Study 2 involved Vrije Universiteit-Amsterdam students; 50% believed in God, and 27% believed in the Bible. In Study 1, aggression increased when the passage was from the Bible or mentioned God. In Study 2, aggression increased when the passage mentioned God, especially among participants who believed in God and in the Bible. These results suggest that scriptural violence sanctioned by God can increase aggression, especially in believers.

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          Most cited references 6

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          Aggressive behavior and physiological arousal as a function of provocation and the tendency to inhibit aggression.

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            External validity of "trivial" experiments: The case of laboratory aggression.

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              Psychology. The effects of media violence on society.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Psychological Science
                Psychol Sci
                Wiley
                0956-7976
                1467-9280
                December 04 2016
                March 2007
                December 04 2016
                March 2007
                : 18
                : 3
                : 204-207
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan
                [2 ]Department of Communication Science, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
                [3 ]Department of Psychology, Brigham Young University
                Article
                10.1111/j.1467-9280.2007.01873.x
                17444911
                © 2007

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