Buss Perry Aggression Questionnaire (BPAQ)

The Buss Perry Aggression Questionnaire (BPAQ) is a self-reporting inventory that has been widely used in psychological research to assess individual aggression levels. It was developed by Arnold H. Buss and Mark Perry in the 1990s as a means to quantify aggression in adults across a broad spectrum. The BPAQ segregates aggression into four primary dimensions: physical aggression, verbal aggression, anger, and hostility. Each of these dimensions is intended to capture different manifestations of aggressive behavior and tendencies, ranging from physical actions to internal feelings and predispositions towards antagonism. The instrument consists of 29 items, and respondents rate their agreement with each statement on a Likert scale. This design facilitates the examination of aggression as a complex behavior that is not limited to overt acts of violence, but also includes verbal aggression, feelings of anger, and cognitive aspects of hostility.

The construction of the BPAQ was informed by preceding theoretical and empirical work on aggression, drawing from a broad literature that acknowledges both the overt and covert aspects of aggressive behavior. Buss and Perry's development of the questionnaire was motivated by the recognition that aggression encompasses more than just physical acts; it also includes verbal aggression, feelings of anger, and a predisposition towards viewing others with suspicion or hostility. The development process involved statistical analyses, including factor analysis, to ensure that the questionnaire reliably measures the intended dimensions of aggression. Subsequent research has examined the reliability and validity of the BPAQ across different populations, confirming its utility in measuring aggression in various contexts. The tool has been adapted for use in different countries and has been translated into several languages, highlighting its relevance and applicability in diverse cultural settings.

The BPAQ provides a standardized method for assessing aggression, facilitating comparisons across studies and populations. In clinical practice, the questionnaire can help professionals identify individuals who may benefit from interventions aimed at managing aggression. Furthermore, the BPAQ has been employed in research to explore the correlates of aggression, including biological, psychological, and social factors. Its use has extended to studies examining the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions in reducing aggression, the impact of aggression on personal and professional relationships, and the role of personality traits in aggressive behavior. Overall, the BPAQ serves as a critical tool for psychologists and researchers, offering insights into the complex nature of aggression and informing efforts to mitigate its negative impacts on individuals and society.

Using this 5 point scale, indicate how uncharacteristic or characteristic each of the following statements is in describing you.

  Extremely Uncharac-
Somewhat Uncharac-
Neither Uncharac-
teristic Nor Charac- Teristic
Somewhat Charac-
Extremely Charac-
1. Some of my friends think I am a hothead.
2. If I have to resort to violence to protect my rights, I will.
3. When people are especially nice to me, I wonder what they want.
4. I tell my friends openly when I disagree with them.
5. I have become so mad that I have broken things.
6. I can’t help getting into arguments when people disagree with me.
7. I wonder why sometimes I feel so bitter about things.
8. Once in a while, I can’t control the urge to strike another person.
9. I am an even-tempered person.
10. I am suspicious of overly friendly strangers.
11. I have threatened people I know.
12. I flare up quickly but get over it quickly.
13. Given enough provocation, I may hit another person.
14. When people annoy me, I may tell them what I think of them.
15. I am sometimes eaten up with jealousy.
16. I can think of no good reason for ever hitting a person.
17. At times I feel I have gotten a raw deal out of life.
18. I have trouble controlling my temper.
19. When frustrated, I let my irritation show.
20. I sometimes feel that people are laughing at me behind my back.
21. I often find myself disagreeing with people.
22. If somebody hits me, I hit back.
23. I sometimes feel like a powder keg ready to explode.
24. Other people always seem to get the breaks.
25. There are people who pushed me so far that we came to blows.
26. I know that "friends" talk about me behind my back.
27. My friends say that I’m somewhat argumentative.
28. Sometimes I fly off the handle for no good reason.
29. I get into fights a little more than the average person.
  1. AH Buss & MP Perry. The Aggression Questionnaire. 63 J Pers Soc Psychol 452-459. .
  2. G Felsten & V Hill. Aggression Questionnaire Hostility Scale Predicts Anger in Response to Mistreatment. 37(1) Behav Res Ther 87-97. .