Title

Sensitivity to violence measured by ratings of severity increases after nonviolence training

Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

2-1-2010

Abstract

It was hypothesized that training in nonviolence would increase participants' sensitivity to violence because such training emphasizes both the harm and the avoidability of many kinds of violence. This research built upon earlier studies, which had proposed that ratings of the severity of violent behaviors (e.g., murder, bullying, cursing) can be interpreted as measuring sensitivity to violence. Two quasi-experiments examined changes in ratings of severity obtained before and after nonviolence training. In Study 1, 28 college-age traffic offenders who received nonviolence training judged stimulus behaviors ranging from life- threatening physical harm to verbal disrespect as more violent after their training. An untrained comparison group did not show this change. In Study 2, 30 student teachers who received instruction in nonviolence also rated behaviors as more violent after training; an untrained comparison group did not. Results are interpreted as showing increased sensitivity to violence following exposure to nonviolence. © Perceptual and Motor Skills 2010.

Publication Title

Perceptual and Motor Skills

Volume

110

Issue

1

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