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Guns, Testosterone, and Aggression Essay

Hypothesis: Can aggression be increased by the presence of weapons in the environment and by the hormone testosterone. Research Method Used: Experimental design and correlational study Test Subjects/ Participants: The test subjects were thirty male college students ranging from the ages 18 and 22 Variables that are being examined: The variables that are being examined are aggression, and testosterone levels How they are operationally defined and measure: The subject’s aggression was operationally defined by the amount of hot sauce in grams that they poured into the cup of water, it was measured on a scale. The testosterone levels were defined by the difference in the saliva from time 1 and time 2 briefly, what procedure was employed: Before the experiment begun both the experimental and the control group were asked to give a 6-ml sample of their saliva, which was used to measure their starting testosterone levels.

The subjects were then placed in similar rooms with a particular item on a table. For the experimental group, the particular item was a pellet gun identical in size, shape and feel too a Desert Eagle handgun. The Control subjects object was the children’s game Mouse Trap. Subjects were then told to handle the objects for 15 minutes and other tasks pertaining to the object. After the 15 minutes were over another saliva sample was taken. The subject was then told to take a sip of water with a single drop of hot sauce. The subject was then told that the sample had been prepared by a previous subject and to rate the taste of the sample on a provided scale.

The subject was then told to create a sample for the next subject by placing as much hot sauce in the water that they wanted but was assured that neither the next subject nor the experimenter would know how much hot sauce they put in it. Lastly the subjects had to watch a relaxing video of nature scenes and classical music. What were the results: The subjects who interacted with the handgun showed a greater increase in testosterone from the 1st saliva sample to the 2nd sample. Also subjects who interacted with the gun added more hot sauce to the water meaning that interacting with the gun increased aggressive behavior. Lastly the amount of hot sauce placed in the cup was positively correlated with changes in testosterone level.


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