Help with experimental design

Hello, I'm doing a hypothetical study to assess the effects of reappraisal on aggressive behavior.

In short: participants are assigned to an experimental or control condition. Those in the experimental play a driving game where a confederate cuts them off several times throughout the game. Controls receive no provocations. After the game, they go through questionnaires to measure their aggressive affect, cognition, and arousal. Once these are completed, some receive an apology from the confederate for cutting them off, and others do not. Finally, they are allowed to aggress against their opponent if they so choose.

My professor added the part about assessing affect, cognition, and arousal. My question is why? Looking over my notes, I am simply trying to test whether reappraisal had an effect on behavior. Why the questionnaires? It made sense at the time, but now I can't put it together and interpret the "results" of my study.



Phineas Packard
Three reasons:
1. Moderation. Do these individual differences moderate the effect of the treatment.
2. Mediation. Does being in the treatment group effect the outcome by raising affect etc. (I hope this is not the case because your ability to make causal inferences here is reduced).
3. You are in psychology so that is the sort of touchy feely stuff you are supposed to look at. ;)

P.S. Please do not open multiple threads on the same topic.
But to determine if they moderate or mediate, wouldn't you have to assess the affect, cognition, and arousal again after they receive an apology to see if this "treatment" lowered their internal states?