Survey: Are You An Angry Thinker?

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ACS SurveyThe Angry Cognitions Scale (Martin & Dahlen, 2007) measures five types of angry thoughts: Overgeneralizing, Catastrophic Evaluating, Inflammatory Labeling, Misattributing Causation, and Demandingness. There’s also an Adaptive Thoughts Scale designed to measure those types of thoughts that are less likely to lead to maladaptive anger. We’ll give you your scores and provide you with information about how those scores compare to others who took the test.

One More Reason Why Suppressing Anger is Bad For You

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Anger suppression, when we feel angry but don’t express it, has long been associated anger_mainwith a variety of psychological and physical health problems.  Recent research, though, shows that it also might be associated with aggression and violence. A 2015 study in Psychology of Violence looked at 64 criminal offenders who were asked to complete measures related to anger, other emotions, verbal attention, and past aggression.  The findings showed “that participants reporting difficulty attending to their emotions had more extensive histories of aggression than those who did not report such difficulties” (Robertson, Daffern, & Bucks, 2015, p 74).  In other words, those participants who suppressed their anger rather than finding some healthy outlet were more likely to be aggressive or violent.

According to the authors, a failure to attend to emotions (what they call “overregulation”) leads to violence in several ways including an increase in general negative affect, encouraging a more superficial thought process, decreasing the quality of interpersonal relationships, preventing resolution of any problems, and leading to an increase in physiological arousal.

What then is the solution?  The authors suggest that an important way to control aggressive behavior while angry is to attend to the anger rather than attempting to avoid it.

Anger Management Tip: Keep Track

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indexOne of the best things you can do if you think you have an anger problem is to keep track of your angry feelings.  At the end of each day, write down the times you got angry, what caused it, what types of thoughts you had, and what you did with your anger.  A journal like this, sometimes called a mood log, can shed some light on the types of situations that make you angry and help you find ways to deal with those situations.

All the Rage Updates: Lots of em….

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I’ve made quite a few updates to the blog over the last few weeks.  Take a look!

Psychology Today: How Pixar’s Inside Out Gets Anger Right

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As an anger researcher, a teacher of a Psychology of Emotion course, and a parent, I couldn’t have been more excited to go see Inside Out, the latest Pixar movie about emotion, this weekend. The movie takes place mostly in the mind of a young girl, where each emotion is a character that controls her memories, thoughts, and personality. It did not disappoint and, most importantly, it really did a great job of providing a fun, entertaining, and powerful message about the value of emotions.

Read at Psychology Today

Psychology Today: Five Ways to Deal with Anger

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In a previous post, I wrote about why people get angry. There’s a fairly predictable pattern based on your mood, the provocation, and your interpretation of that provocation (which is influenced by your mood). What follows all that is the anger response which can look a lot of different ways (anything from suppression to appropriate assertion to violence).

Read at Psychology Today

 

Anger Management Tip: Know that Anger is OK

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Anger gets a bit of a bad rap.  People talk about anger as though we should never feel it and we certainly should never act on it.  Neither of those are true.  There are times when it’s not only reasonable to feel angry, it’s right to feel angry.  If you’ve been wronged, treated unfairly, or provoked, you should get angry.  In fact, would worry more about someone who didn’t feel angry in those circumstances.

That said, we all know that anger can get out of hand.  How you handle it is different from whether or not you feel it.  Again, it’s ok to act on anger too.  It’s just that, usually, it’s best to be polite, assertive rather than aggressive, and calm when you act on it.