#AngerFacts from my AlumniLink Talk

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I gave a talk tonight on anger for the UW-System Alumni Link event here in Green Bay.  During the talk, I provided six anger-related facts and promised they could find more information on Twitter or via Facebook.

I also promised I would tweet out a survey where they could learn more about the types of angry thoughts they may have.  Here is that survey.  

Here are the six facts with links to additional information:

  1. Anger is one of the four most basic emotions along with sadness, fear, and joy. Learn more.
  2. Witnessing aggressive expressions of anger at work leads to a decrease in creativity and productivity. Learn more.
  3. A fair workplace, where employees understand decisions and feel they are treated with respect, is associated with less employee anger and greater productivity. Learn more.
  4. Research shows that women who express anger at work lose influence over their peers, whereas men tend to gain credibility when they express anger.  Learn more.
  5. Anger is the most viral emotion online, spreading faster than sadness, fear, or joy. Learn more.
  6. Letting it out (aka catharsis) doesn’t work; it likely makes things worse. Learn more.

Five Things You Should Know About Sexual Assault Awareness Month

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1. It’s Been Around Since the name1980’s: Sexual Assault Awareness Month, otherwise known as SAAM, was established in the 1980’s. SAAM was created after organizers made October the month of awareness of domestic violence. Later, the National Coalition against Sexual Assault questioned activists on the week they would like to bring awareness to sexual assault. Activists chose one week in April. By the 1990’s, several sexual assault awareness events were provided throughout the month of April. Consequently, activists wanted to modify the week of Sexual Assault Awareness into Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In 2001, Sexual Assault Awareness was officially recognized by the United States as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

2. The Goal is to Educate the Public on How to Prevent Sexual Assault: Organizers wanted to create a time of awareness for sexual assault and educate the public on ways to prevent sexual assault from happening. Organizers hoped to encourage individuals to work together to help sexual assault survivors and end rape culture.
teal ribbon
3. It’s Represented By a Teal Ribbon: SAAM is represented by a teal ribbon. The teal ribbon signifies sexual violence prevention.

4. The Intended Audience is… Everyone: Resources and events are intended for the public. This includes parents, educators, coaches, spiritual leaders, and students of all ages. These events and activities are geared towards specific groups such as college students who are part of a Greek Life.

5. You Can Help With the SAAM Action Kit: Every year, activists and the public create posters, clothing, postcards, and coloring pages to inform people about SAAM. Furthermore, organizers designed an action kit that contains several useful resources. The action kit contains several pages of information about SAAM, how to bring awareness to the public, and numerous posters that individuals are able to print off and hang up around their communities. All resources are presented in different languages, including Spanish and English. Social media sites are another great place that SAAM organizers want the public to utilize. On Instagram, people can include #30DaysofSAAM in their posts. Additionally, people can promote SAAM during the month of April using #SAAM in their Twitter and Facebook posts.

Want to learn more? Visit the official SAAM website here: http://www.nsvrc.org/saamposter

A Goodbye Message That Will Make You Smile… and smiling’s my favorite!

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Dear graduates,

OK, so by now everybody knows that I end each year with a goodbye message that is full of little hidden references to some relatively popular movie that students like to quote (e.g., Mean Girls, Pitch Perfect, Bridesmaids).  This year, though, I was like, “no way, the best way to spread graduation cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.”  So, sorry, you bunch of cotton-headed ninny-muggins, there will be no such goodbye message this year.

Instead, I’m just going to talk about the great year we had and how much I’m going to miss you all.  We did some really great stuff together: The Psych Open House, our Mannequin Challenge, the PSI Talks, MPA, passing through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest….

I remember when the year first started and I was so optimistic about our time together.  I planned out our whole first day: We’ll make snow angels for two hours, and then we’ll go ice skating, and then we’ll eat a whole roll of Toll-House cookie dough as fast as we can, but it never happened.  I thought we could all be friends.  I know I sound like a broken record but we are all buddies. You’re my best friends.  That’s it.  You’re my best friends.

I quickly discovered through Rate My Professor, though, that you all don’t want to be friends.  I gotta tell you, when you write things like “you sit on a throne of lies” or “you stink. You smell like beef and cheese!” or “I don’t know why, but I’ve never liked you,” it hurts (especially that last one).  I’m a human being, you know.  I’m vulnerable… like a peach (what’s more vulnerable than a peach?).

What makes it worse is that all my other colleagues get such nice comments.  Students are always writing things like “You’re the best! You should be on a Christmas card!” or “I like your nice purple dress. Very purpley” or even “I think you’re really beautiful and I feel really warm when I’m around you and my tongue swells up.”

Son of a nutcracker! Why can’t I get that kind of feedback?!

I’m worried it’s because I have a hard time focusing when I’m in class or advising.  I’ll see students in the back of the room talking and I’ll be like, “I like to whisper too.”  Or I’ll start my advising sessions by blurting out “what’s your favorite color?”  Or worse, students will try and tell me what’s going on with them and I’ll be like, “Franscico! That’s fun to say!”

The truth is nobody around here listens to me.  I got really good ideas. I just try to go with the flow you know.  I gotta get out of the flow.  I’m in the flow that’s what got me here.  I’m 45+ years old and I got nothin to show for it.

OK, I’ve gotten distracted again.

In closing, let me say how proud I am of you and how sad I am to see you go.  You did it! Congratulations! World’s best… students! Great job, everybody! It’s great to be here.  I’m so proud of you all.  Truly.  Great job.  Can’t wait to see you graduate on Saturday!  I love you. I love you. I love youuuuuuuu!

Your Buddy,

Ryan C. Martin

PS. Good news… I saw a dog today.

Short Fuse: The History of Internet Trolling

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In this short episode, Kate Farley (UW-Green Bay Instructional Technologist and All the Rage Producer) and Alexandra Graff (Intern and Student at UW-Green Bay) talk about the brief history of internet trolling and the effects it has on individuals. Plus, Alexandra talks with Jonathan Bishop, the founder of the Center for Research into Online Communities and e-Learning Systems.


Pet Peeves: The Role of Happiness and Mindfulness

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relationship difficulties: young couple having a conflictFeeling frustrated by slow walkers, people who fail to use their turn signal, or people who forget to cover their mouths when they cough? These relatively petty concerns are called pet peeves. Pet peeves like these and others represent particular occasions, actions, or individuals that cause a person to complain, feel frustrated or get angry.

How are relationships affected by pet peeves? What role does mindfulness play in reducing negative feelings? Kowalski and colleagues sought to answer these questions in their study Pet Peeves and Happiness: How Do Happy People Complain? They examined participants’ pet peeves via a survey that included listing biggest personal irritations, assessments of positive and negative emotions, mindfulness, depression, and happiness.

Results from this study suggest that the most reported pet peeves included chewing gum loudly, mumbling, being unclean, not listening, whining, and being late. In addition, pet peeves made people less satisfied with their relationships with others. This was due to people constantly expressing their annoyances to their significant other. As a result, individuals were irritated and felt that their partner was intentionally trying to make them upset. Furthermore, people reported feeling unhappy due to others engaging in their pet peeves. Mindfulness appeared to make a difference in how people felt when they saw others partaking in their pet peeves. Kowalski and colleagues found two ways that people can deal effectively with their pet peeves.  First, people can express their grievances when they think that it will make a difference. Individuals realize that by expressing their grievances to their significant other, it will only make things worse. Second, individuals can engage in mindfulness to better deal with their pet peeves and increase happiness. Happy people tend to avoid engaging in negative thoughts. By thinking of their pet peeves and expressing their annoyances to others, this decreases feelings of happiness and increases negativity.

AlexandraBy Alexandra Graff
Alexandra is a senior, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Human Development. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, she plans on working in the education or healthcare field as a psychometrist.


Kowalski, R., Allison, B., Giumetti, G., Turner, J., Whittaker, E., Frazee, L., & Stephens, J. (2014). Pet peeves and happiness: How do happy people complain? The Journal of Social Psychology, 154, 278-282.