Anderson, C.A., & Anderson, K.B. (1996).

 Violent crime rate studies in philosophical context: A destructive testing approach to heat and southern culture of violence effects.

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 740-756.


 The logic behind the translation of conceptual hypotheses into testable propositions was illustrated with the heat hypothesis. The "destructive testing" philosophy was introduced and applied. This consists of first establishing that a predicted empirical relation exists, then attempting to break that relation by adding competitor variables. The key question in destructive testing is "How difficult was it to break the relation?" This approach was used to analyze the heat effect on violent crime rates (Study 1) and on White violent crime arrest rates (Study 2) in U.S. cities. One competitor variable was the particular focus of analysis--Southern Culture of Violence (SCV). The heat hypothesis was strongly supported by significant correlations between the warmth of a city and its violence rate. The heat effect also survived multiple destructive tests. Though some support for the SCV was also found, the SCV effect was more easily broken.

 © 1996 by the American Psychological Association, Inc.

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