A hot new way to measure aggression: Hot sauce allocation

Joel D. Lieberman, Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, Holly A. McGregor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Scopus citations


Laboratory experiments investigating aggressive behavior have operationalized and assessed aggression in a variety of ways; however, these measures are often problematic because they do not create a situation in which participants perceive potential for real harm to come to the target, there is a risk of actual harm to the target, or they are too familiar to participants. To overcome these limitations, we developed a new method for measuring aggression, specifically, the amount of hot sauce administered to a target known to dislike spicy foods. We summarize a series of experiments assessing theory-based hypotheses regarding aggression in which this measure is employed. We then briefly consider the strengths and limitations of this new measure. Aggr. Behav. 25:331-348, 1999.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-348
Number of pages18
JournalAggressive behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999


  • Aggression
  • Cognitive-experiential self-theory
  • Displaced aggression
  • Measurement
  • Methodology
  • Terror management theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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