Chronic passive exposure to aggression escalates aggressiveness of rat observers

Hideo Suzuki, Louis R. Lucas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Previous studies have documented that exposure to aggression increases aggressiveness of human witnesses. However, the question of whether passive exposure to aggression can exclusively cause a risk of aggressive inclination for observers through a learning process, rather than mimicry effect, has not been readily addressed in the clinical literature. This study aimed to investigate this question by using a simple animal model to test the behavioral effect of chronic passive exposure to aggression. Our results indicate that observer rats that had been passively exposed to aggression for 10 min per day for 23 consecutive days exhibited more aggressive behavior than controls or those groups undergoing a single exposure to passive aggression. Furthermore, aggression levels in the group of 23-day chronic exposure to aggression lasted 16 days after the recovery from exposure to aggression. These data suggest that the development of aggression in this model occurred through a learning process because only chronic exposure to aggression resulted in this behavioral outcome in the long run.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-66
Number of pages13
JournalAggressive Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Aggression
  • Exposure
  • Learning
  • Observation
  • Rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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