Typology of violence derived from ratings of severity and provocation

Document Type


Date of Original Version



Two exploratory studies examined ratings of the severity of violence of several behaviors. In Study 1, a very consistent ordering of the behaviors by severity was obtained from two groups of participants. The stated justification for the behaviors was manipulated, and both mitigation and aggravation effects were observed. Study 2 found that essentially the same ordering of behaviors could be obtained in a provocation-rating task, and that both the severity ratings and the provocation ratings yielded four interpretable types of violence upon factor analysis: more severe physical (V1), less severe physical (V2), more severe nonphysical (V3), and less severe nonphysical (V4). Individual profiles of severity ratings across these four types yielded two interpretable groupings of participants upon cluster analysis: a violence-sensitive group and a violence-tolerant group. The violence-tolerant group had lower severity ratings for three of the four types of violence. These empirical distinctions help to illuminate what appear to be different meanings of the term violent for different behavior categories and for different individuals. © Perceptual and Motor Skills 2007.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Perceptual and Motor Skills