Researcher bias

Interesting study:

The mere presence of weapons can increase aggression—called the “weapons effect.” Weapons are theorized to increase aggression by priming aggressive thoughts. This research tested the robustness of the weapons effect using two large representative samples of American adults (total N = 1,097). Participants saw photos of criminals, soldiers, police in military gear, or police in regular gear with guns. Experiment 2 also included a condition with photos of Olympians with guns used to shoot inanimate targets. The control group was police in plainclothes without guns. The accessibility of aggressive thoughts was measured using a word fragment task (e.g., KI_ _ can be completed as KILL or KISS). Photos of individuals with guns used to shoot human targets primed aggressive thoughts, regardless of whether a “good guy” (soldier, police) or “bad guy” (criminal) held the gun. Photos of Olympians with guns used to shoot inanimate targets did not prime aggressive thoughts.

I think the author was “primed” with their own conclusion. When I think of “kill” in the context of a “good guy” with a gun I don’t think of aggression. I think of it as a strong defense.

See also the fairly neutral, Here’s what can happen to your brain and body when you shoot a gun.

6 thoughts on “Researcher bias

  1. Kill, of course, has no moral association, kill time, kill ants, kill roaches, kill bad guys threatening little old ladies and mothers of young children.

    the last is definitely praiseworthy.

  2. It would be good to stop applying positive terms like “research” to this sort of garbage.

  3. They measured completion of KI_ _ with KILL versus KISS after showing people being killed (by guns). I bet the same result would occur from viewing footage of Nazi concentration camps, or anything else associated with death. The study does not compare that response with how respondents would complete the word after seeing sexy kisses. Here’s betting pictures of lips smacking together would result in nonagressive KISS responses.

    • It’s hypnosis, or a Pavlovian technique, designed from the outset to initiate a respopnse. See a gun, or think of a gun, and be afraid or think of violence, or both. Pretty simple stuff, really.

      It’s like on any TV show or any movie; you see a gun, and you know something terrible is going to happen. Same thing. It induces a conditioned reaction. Post hypnotic suggestion.

      And so, the leftist agitators (which is a redundant term) expect to be seen as opposing violence while they’re actually promoting it. When violence happens, they blame their enemies, say “we told you so!”, and double down.. Don’t knock it; it works.

  4. “Photos of Olympians with guns used to shoot inanimate targets did not prime aggressive thoughts.”

    WTF? He just disproved his hypothesis that the presence of weapons increases aggression. Yet he carries on and ignores that.

    New hypothesis: “The presence of aggressive _people_ increases aggression.”

  5. I’ve seen in studies attempting to quantify this “weapons effect” use the word “unfortunately” when they find the collected data doesn’t support their hypothesis.

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