verbal: Verbal Aggression Data Set

Description Format Source References


The Verbal Aggression data set comes from Vansteelandt (2000) and is made of the responses of 316 subjects (243 women and 73 men) to a questionnaire of 24 items, about verbal aggression. All items describe a frustrating situation together with a verbal aggression response. A correct answer responses is coded as 0 and 1, a value of one meaning that the subject would (want to) respond to the frustrating situation in an aggressive way. In addition, the Trait Anger score (Spielberger, 1988) was computed for each subject.


The verbal matrix consists of 316 rows (one per subject) and 26 columns.

The first 24 columns hold the responses to the dichotomously scored items. The 25th column holds the trait anger score for each subject. The 26th column is vector of the group membership; values 0 and 1 refer to women and men, respectively.

Each item name starts with S followed by a value between 1 and 4, referring to one of the situations below:

S1: A bus fails to stop for me.

S2: I miss a train because a clerk gave me faulty information.

S3: The grocery store closes just as I am about to enter.

S4: The operator disconnects me when I had used up my last 10 cents for a call.

The second part of the name is either Want or Do, and indicates whether the subject wanted to respond to the situation or actually did respond.

The third part of the name is one of the possible aggressive responses, either Curse, Scold or Shout.

For example, item S1WantShout refers to the sentence: "a bus fails to stop for me. I want to shout". The corresponding item response is 1 if the subject agrees with that sentence, and 0 if not.


The Verbal aggression data set is taken originally from Vansteelandt (2000) and has been used as an illustrative example in De Boeck (2008), De Boeck and Wilson (2004) and Smits, De Boeck and Vansteelandt (2004), among others. The following URL permits to get access to the full data set.


De Boeck, P. (2008). Random item IRT models. Psychometrika, 73, 533-559. doi: 10.1007/s11336-008-9092-x

De Boeck, P. and Wilson, M. (2004). Explanatory item response models: a generalized linear and nonlinear approach. New York: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4757-3990-9

Magis, D., Beland, S., Tuerlinckx, F. and De Boeck, P. (2010). A general framework and an R package for the detection of dichotomous differential item functioning. Behavior Research Methods, 42, 847-862. doi: 10.3758/BRM.42.3.847

Smits, D., De Boeck, P. and Vansteelandt, K. (2004). The inhibition of verbal aggressive behavior. European Journal of Personality, 18, 537-555. doi: 10.1002/per.529

Spielberger, C.D. (1988). State-trait anger expression inventory research edition. Professional manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.

Vansteelandt, K. (2000). Formal models for contextualized personality psychology. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, K.U. Leuven, Belgium.

difR documentation built on July 2, 2020, 3:34 a.m.