The Material Culture of Homicidal Fantasies
Crabb, P. B.
Publication: Aggressive Behavior
Topics: Age Group Homicide Social Science Students
Keywords: Aggressive scripts evolutionary psychology homicidal fantasy media effects self-efficacy weapons effect.
Bibliographic information +
The aim of this study was to describe normal undergraduate students’ impulsive homicidal fantasies and the weapons used in these fantasies. A total of 295 participants enrolled at a university in the northeastern United States completed a questionnaire asking them to describe a recent incident in which they had thought about killing someone. Forty-five (45.4%) of participants reported having homicidal fantasies, with most of these fantasies involving guns and provoked by frustrating or threatening interpersonal events . Weapons such as guns and knives were reportedly the preferred choice in these fantasies as they were perceived to make the task of killing easier and more reliable. Most participants stated that the mass media had exposed them to their weapons of choice and that they had easy access to these weapons. As such, the authors recommend examining the role of the mass media in conveying messages about use of specific weapons in committing homicide as well as the relationship between acquiring specific weapons and actual aggressive behavior using these weapons.