Introduction

The Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire (BPAQ) is a popular measure of aggression in adults. Men show a higher level of aggression than women (Archer, 2004).

Type "aggression psychology" in the YouTube search box and notice many interesting documentaries about psychological discoveries about human aggression, such as this one.
See also the adolescent aggression scale implemented in PsyToolkit.

The BPAQ has 29 items, subdivided in four factors (which resulted from factor analysis):

  1. Physical aggression (9 items)

  2. Verbal aggression (5 items)

  3. Anger (8 items)

  4. Hostility (8 items)

The average scores from the original Buss and Perry (1992) paper are shown below.

Table 1. Average scores of men and women (612 men and 641 women).
Scale Range Men Women

Physical aggression

9-45

24.3

17.9

Verbal aggression

5-25

15.2

13.5

Anger

7-35

17.0

16.7

Hostility

8-40

21.3

20.2

Total score

29-145

77.8

68.2

The subscales differ in range because they have different numbers of questions. For example, there are 9 questions related to physical aggression, each ranked on a 1-5 scale.

Run the demo

On page 453 of the Buss and Perry (1992) paper it states:

No permission is needed if the questionnaire is used for research purposes. Users make up their own mimeographed or printed version by scrambling the items so that items from any one factor do not pile up.

Technically

This is a very simple scale item questionniare. The random option is used to make so that the items from any one factor do not pile up (as recommended under "legal stuff").

The survey code for PsyToolkit

Copy and paste this code to your PsyToolkit account if you want to use the scale in your own online research project
scale: characteristic
- extremely uncharacteristic<br>of me
- uncharacteristic of me
- neither characteristic<br>nor uncharacteristic of me
- characteristic of me
- extremely characteristic<br>of me

l: bpaq
t: scale characteristic
o: random
q: For each of the following 29 statements, rate how characteristic this is of you.
- Once in a while I can't control the urge to strike another person.
- Given enough provocation, I may hit another person.
- If somebody hits me, I hit back.
- I get into fights a little more than the average person.
- If I have to resort to violence to protect my rights, I will.
- There are people who pushed me so far that we came to blows.
- {reverse} I can think of no good reason for ever hitting a person.
- I have threatened people I know.
- I have become so mad that I have broken things.
- I tell my friends openly when I disagree with them.
- I often find myself disagreeing with people.
- When people annoy me, I may tell them what I think of them.
- I can't help getting into arguments when people disagree with me.
- My friends say that I'm somewhat argumentative.
- I flare up quickly but get over it quickly.
- When frustrated, I let my irritation show.
- I sometimes feel like a powder keg ready to explode.
- {reverse} I am an even-tempered person.
- Some of my friends think I'm a hothead.
- Sometimes I fly off the handle for no good reason.
- I have trouble controlling my temper.
- I am sometimes eaten up with jealousy.
- At times I feel I have gotten a raw deal out of life.
- Other people always seem to get the breaks.
- I wonder why sometimes I feel so bitter about things.
- I know that "friends" talk about me behind my back.
- I am suspicious of overly friendly strangers.
- I sometimes feel that people are laughing at me behind my back.
- When people are especially nice, I wonder what they want.

l: bpaq_score
t: set
- sum $bpaq

l: bpaq_physical
t: set
- sum $bpaq.1 $bpaq.2  $bpaq.3  $bpaq.4  $bpaq.5  $bpaq.6  $bpaq.7  $bpaq.8 $bpaq.9

l: bpaq_verbal
t: set
- sum $bpaq.10 $bpaq.11 $bpaq.12 $bpaq.13 $bpaq.14

l: bpaq_anger
t: set
- sum $bpaq.15 $bpaq.16 $bpaq.17 $bpaq.18 $bpaq.19 $bpaq.20 $bpaq.21

l: bpaq_hostility
t: set
- sum $bpaq.22 $bpaq.23 $bpaq.24 $bpaq.25 $bpaq.26 $bpaq.27 $bpaq.28 $bpaq.29

l: feedback
t: info
q: Your scores.<br>
Below are the possible scores and the midpoint of the scale reported in brackets.<br><br>
This way you can see where approximately you are on the scale.<br>
Note that the population scores are on the PsyToolkit website (link will show up when you have finished this survey).<br><br>
Overall score (range, 29-145, midpoint 87): {$bpaq_score}<br>
Physical aggression scale (range 9-45, midpoint 27): {$bpaq_physical}<br>
Verbal aggression scale (range 5-25, midpoint 15): {$bpaq_verbal}<br>
Anger aggression scale (range 7-35, midpoint 21): {$bpaq_anger}<br>
Hostility aggression scale (range 8-40, midpoint 24): {$bpaq_hostility}<br>

References

  • Buss, A.H. and Perry, M.P. (1992). The Aggression Questionnaire. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 63, 452-459.

  • Archer, J. (2004). Sex differences in aggression in real- world settings: A meta-analytic review. Review of General Psychology, 8, 291-322.