Climate Science Program

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Craig Anderson

Distinguished Professor


Office: 375B Science I

Phone: 515-294-3118



Department: Psychology

Research Interests: social cognition, agression, personality and individual differences, causal thinking and explanation

Brief description of current research:

My main research interests are in social and personality psychology, with a strong emphasis on cognitive psychology. Most of my current research focuses on aggression. Most of that research focuses on the potentially harmful effects of exposure to violent video games. Other aggression research under way in my lab includes work on jealousy, attribution and appraisal processes, temperature effects, and effects of violent media of various types. For example, we have shown that hot temperatures increase aggressive behavior under some circumstances, in both laboratory and field settings. This research has also shown that global warming will likely produce substantial increases in violent crime. Other research has shown how life experiences influence the way people think about guns, which in turn influences the effects of weapon primes on aggressive thoughts and behavior. Still other research has shown that men who are prone to sexual aggression against women also tend to behave more aggressively against women in non-sexual ways, and that they specifically target women rather than other men.

In addition, my students and other colleagues and I have been working on a model designed to integrate aggression/violence findings from a variety of research paradigms. The model includes individual difference and situational input variables. It also integrates affective and instrumental aggression

Recent publications:

Anderson, C. A., 2013: Guns, games, and mass shootings in the U.S. Bull. Int. Soc. Res. Aggression, 35, 14-19

Saleem, M., and C. A. Anderson, 2013: Arabs as terrorists: Effects of sterotypes within violent contexts on attitudes, perceptions and affect. Psychology of Violence, 3, 84-99.

Barlett, C. P. and C. A. Anderson, 2012: Direct and indirect relations between the Big 5 personality traits and aggressive behavior. Personality and Individual Differences, 52, 870-875.

Anderson, C. A., 2012: Climate Change and Violence. In D. Christies (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Peace Psychology. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell. doi:10.1002/9780470672532.wbepp032