What is the Taylor aggression paradigm?

Answer: The Taylor aggression paradigm is a human behavioral test that uses responding to a stimulus in order to evaluate aggression against a perceived opponent.

taylor aggression paradigm

The Taylor aggression paradigm is a laboratory measure performed in human subjects. Subjects are asked to respond to the presentation of a stimulus with a button press as quickly as possible. They are told that will be competing against an opponent, and the winner of the trial will be able to administer an unpleasant stimulus to the opponent, such as a loud sound. The intensity and duration of the loud stimulus is determined by the subjects.

Each trial is divided into 4 stages. First, in the decision phase, the subject will think about how intense of a punishment stimulus they would like to deliver to the opponent in the event that the subject wins the trial. They often are given a short amount of time to make this evaluation (one or two seconds). In the next phase, selection, they will physically enter the intensity by pushing the appropriate number on a keyboard - 1 being the weakest stimulus, and 9 being the strongest. Following this, in reaction phase, they are asked to fixate on the display, and then press a button as soon as the image changes. The last phase is the information phase. The stimulus intensity that the “opponent” selected is then shown to the subject for a short time. Afterwards, the results of the trial are then displayed, and the punishment stimulus is then delivered.

Subjects with a history of violence opted to deliver more intense negative stimulation compared with subjects without a history of violent behaviors (Neurophysiological Correlates of Laboratory-Induced Aggression in Young Men with and without a History of Violence ). Aggressive behaviors on the Taylor aggression paradigm are also heightened after exposure to alcohol.