Cross-modal associations between aggression and light

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic


Brightness is associated with positivity and goodness. As a consequence, we might expect that increasing the luminance in public settings (e.g., outside clubs and café’s) could positively influence aggressive behavior in situations that are at risk of escalating. However, based on work of Osgood and colleagues (1957), an increase in luminance intensity can be associated with an increase in activity. Also, the dynamic nature of a light stimulus can affect the associations people have between brightness and aggression. With two studies we provide support for the presence of cross modal associations between aggression and dynamic achromatic (i.e. white versus black) and luminance (i.e. light versus dark) brightness differences. We asked people to report explicit associations between brightness stimuli and evaluation, potency, activity, and aggression, using either achromatic (Study 1a) or luminance stimuli (Study 1b). In addition, we examined cross-model associations between brightness and aggression using an implicit association test for achromatic stimuli (Study 2a). Our data show that the differences between static and dynamic stimuli, as well as the differences between achromatic brightness and luminance brightness, are crucial for understanding which associations emerge between brightness and aggression. On the conference, we will present these results together with the results of the implicit association tests with luminance brightness stimuli (Study 2b, planned for October).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2014
EventConference of the Association of Dutch Social Psychologists (ASPO) - Groningen
Duration: 11 Dec 201412 Dec 2014


ConferenceConference of the Association of Dutch Social Psychologists (ASPO)


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