Author(s): Farzaneh Pahlavan, Melana Arouss
Recent advances in the study of affective-cognitive regulation of aggressive behavior suggest positive correlations between poor executive capacities (ECF) and negative reactivity. If the global assumption is correct what are the likely implications of predicted relation? The central issue in present research is to verify this assumption and examine how situational characteristics can alter executive performance in adults experiencing Civil War (Syrians students living in their country or in a host country) and adults experiencing peaceful life (French students) to explore some of the consequences of those modifications for aggressive and anxious tendencies. Precisely, we expect the positive correlations between poor executive performances and high dispositional as well situational aggressive and anxious tendencies, specifically for adults exposed to warfare. In order to assess executive capacities and dispositional as well as situational aggressive and anxious tendencies, during one pilot and two comparative studies [pilot study: N = 60 female French students; first comparative study: N = 60 French and N = 60 Syrian students of both sexes (50%); second comparative study: N = 60 Syrian students of both sexes (50%) living in France] right-handed French/Arabic-speakers participants complete twice, before and after completion executive tasks (standard neuropsychological tests) under different experimental conditions (Aversive/Neutral condition), a series of aggression and anxiety questionnaires. The results provide evidence of a dispositional relationship between poor executive functioning and negative reactivity, and extend it to situational level. For all participants, it shows that increases in impulsiveness (negative emotionality and aggressive choices) due to an aversive noise (80 db) are concomitant with an inability to focus individuals’ attention on ongoing tasks, specifically in those living directly or indirectly stressful life-event.
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