Aggressive individuals are thought to process social information in such a manner that the likelihood of engaging in aggressive acts increases drastically. Additionally, emotion and emotion regulation skills are implicated in aggressive and violent behavior as well. However, little attention has been paid to the reciprocal relations between emotion and emotion regulation and Social Information Processing (SIP) in explaining aggression. Therefore, the present study systematically examined extant research on the role of emotion and SIP in aggressive behavior. The results supported substantial overlap between emotion and emotion regulation processes and SIP in explaining aggression. Due to the paucity and nature of available studies, no firm conclusion can be drawn about the nature of their reciprocal relationships. However, the integration of cognition and emotion seems a promising avenue of research for explaining the development and manifestation of aggressive behavior, as well as to inform its prevention and treatment. Future research is needed to elucidate the likely intertwined roles of emotion and the entire SIP process in offender or at-risk populations.
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