Effects of noise and perceived control on ongoing and subsequent aggressive behavior

Edward Donnerstein, David W. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


Two experiments examined the effects of high-intensity (95 db) noise on ongoing and postnoise aggressive behavior. In Exp I, 40 male undergraduates were angered or treated in a neutral manner and given an opportunity to aggress against another S while being exposed to high-intensity or low-intensity (55 db) noise. Results indicate that high-intensity noise facilitated aggression for previously angered individuals. Exp II, with 60 male undergraduates, examined postnoise aggression by having Ss complete a math task under high-intensity noise with or without perceived control over the noise. In comparison to a no-noise control, angered Ss with no control revealed an increase in aggression, whereas perceived-control Ss were no different from no-noise Ss. Results are discussed in terms of the recent D. Glass and J. Singer (1972) work on noise and task performance and the effects of perceived control on mediating the effects of stressful conditions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)774-781
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1976


  • high intensity noise &
  • perceived control over noise, ongoing &
  • subsequent aggressive behavior, angered vs unangered male college students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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