Special Series on Losing Control: Trailer

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In this trailer for our special series on losing control, Ryan and Chuck provide a sneak peak at what you can expect over the next few months.

Focused on losing control, this series includes interviews with social psychologists, neuropsychologists, and other experts on what happens when people get really really angry. The first episode comes out on October 23, 2018.

Anger Management Tip: Take a Timeout

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breathe-airWhen I was a kid, there was a PSA on TV from time to time that went something like this: “When you feel yourself getting tense. Stop. Two. Three….  Breath. Two. Three…. Think your way to sense.”

Despite the cheesy phrasing, timeouts are a good thing for adults, teens, and kids alike.  They can help us calm down when we’re frustrated.  So, the next time you’re feeling angry, take a break, count to five, or walk away from the person you are frustrated with until your anger dissipates.


PodcastCheck out the All the Rage Podcast to learn more about anger and violence


 

ryanBy Dr. Ryan C. Martin
Ryan is the chair of the Psychology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and a nationally known anger researcher.  His work focuses on healthy and unhealthy expressions of anger, including how we express anger online.

Find Ryan on Twitter, Facebook, or Snapchat (rycmart)

How Does Anger Change as We Age?

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crabby_womanDo people really get crabbier as they get older?  Not according to a recent study in the Journal of Aging and Mental Health.  The authors of the study, Drs. Sarah Robertson and Rhonda Swickert, asked a group of 80 young adults (ages 18-34) and a group of 80 older adults (ages 60-91) to recall a negative emotional story about their lives.  They were encouraged to try to imagined the event in their mind and talk about the thoughts and feelings they had related to the event.

They then analyzed the content of those descriptions, looking for negative emotion words like sad, mad, scared, annoyed, etc.  They created a general category for “negative emotions” and three subcategories: anxiety (e.g., worried, fearful), sadness (e.g., crying, grief), and anger (e.g., hate, kill).


PodcastCheck out the All the Rage Podcast to learn more about anger and violence


The purpose of the study was to explore socioemotional selectivity.  This is the theory, originally described in a 1999 American Psychologist article By Dr. Laura Carstensen and her colleagues, that as we get older we put a premium on positive emotions and try to maximize those feelings while minimizing negative feelings.  Basically, it is a little mini-emotional midlife crisis where you realize that life is short and you should not waste it feeling sad, scared, or angry.

So what did Robertson and Swickert find?  Well, in some ways, their results did not look the way they expected.  They hypothesized that age would be negatively associated with negative emotion word use.  That did not happen.  But, while there were no differences on negative emotion words across the board, there were with anger words.  Older adults expressed fewer anger words in their writing than younger adults did.

They also found something interesting related to forgiveness. They had given everyone a questionnaire designed to measure their tendency to forgive across different situations.  Related to anger, they found that younger adults who scored low on this forgiveness scale (i.e., those who were less forgiving) scored higher on anger words than younger adults who scored high on the forgiveness scale.  As they described it, “forgiveness essentially allows for the abandonment of feelings of hurt and resentment in response to a transgression” and that tendency to forgive led to fewer anger words in their writing.


ryanBy Dr. Ryan C. Martin
Ryan is the chair of the Psychology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and a nationally known anger researcher.  His work focuses on healthy and unhealthy expressions of anger, including how we express anger online.

Find Ryan on Twitter, Facebook, or Snapchat (rycmart)

Goodbye, My Darlings….

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Dear graduates,

It’s that time of year again; when I have to say goodbye to another group of AMAZING students.  Now, If there’s one thing I have learned over the last few years it’s that I can’t get away with not writing one of these goodbye messages where I reference a bunch of old movies (see here for past letters: Elf, Bridesmaids, Pitch Perfect, Mean Girls).  I tried to tell students I didn’t want to this year.  I said, “but words are useless! Gobble, gobble, gobble…too much, darling, too much!”  They wouldn’t allow it, though.  They said, “Pull yourself together! The public is in danger!”  So now I’m sitting in my office trying to write this letter. I spent the first couple of minutes just swearing at my computer… for that is my creative process.

But don’t worry, I’m on it.  And like the other goodbye letters, this one is going to be incredible… too.

We had a pretty amazing year; the Midwestern Psychological Association Conference, the PSI Talks, our open house.  I was exhausted when it was all over.  I was like “We’re dead! We survived but we’re dead!”  But you all helped push me through it as you always do.  In the end, it was totally wicked!

By now, most of you know that I can’t be at graduation this year.  It’s not my fault.  My wife is graduating on the same day and I can’t be at both.  I tried to convince her.  I was like, “We are talking about the greater good!” but she was like, “Greater good?’ I am your wife! I’m the greatest good you are ever gonna get!” She’s right, of course, but it doesn’t change the fact that I had big plans for that day.  I was finally gonna tell you all what I think.  I had a whole speech about good guys and bad guys and those shows you used to watch on Saturday mornings.  I was gonna make funny puns like, “ice of you to drop by”, but not anymore….

The truth is, I really don’t want you all to go.  In fact, I’ve been masterminding plans to keep you here.  Those plans mostly involve failing you so you have to retake classes, but I’ve also considered sabotaging the library elevator to keep you stuck on the top floor along with other elaborate evil-villain-like traps.  Honestly, nothing is beneath me.  Now I’ve got your attention, don’t I? Now you respect me, because I’m a threat!  That’s the way it works. Turns out, there are a lot of people, whole countries, who want respect, and they will pay through the nose to get it!

You sly dogs! You had me monologuing.

So that’s it.  You’re all done.  You’ve worked hard, you’ve done great things, but it’s time to go.  Once you’re gone, don’t look back.  I never look back, darlings. It distracts me from the now.  So don’t worry about me.  I’ll be fine.  In fact, if you want to bet on something, bet on your own life!  But when you’re out there, doing your thing, just trust me that I’m your number one fan!

In the meantime, keep being amazing.

Sincerely,

Ryan

PS. I’m going to give you one last piece of unsolicited advice.  On your first day of work, remember, even though you deserve them… No capes!

Human Trafficking: A Topic that Gets a Reaction Out of People

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In this fifth episode of season 2 of All the Rage, we talk human trafficking in popular culture with Dr. Bryan Carr, host of Serious Fun. From Taken to The Punisher to The Girl Who Played with Fire, we discuss the various ways modern day slavery has found its way into the popular culture and how these depictions influence the public.

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Ryan Martin (Host)

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ryanDr. Ryan Martin is the chair of the Psychology Program at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and a nationally known anger researcher. His work focuses on healthy and unhealthy expressions of anger, including how we express anger online. He teaches courses on mental illness, emotion, and anger and violence. He also hosts the popular UW-Green Bay Psychology podcast, Psychology and Stuff.

Sophia Sielen (Intern)

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Sophia SielenSophia Sielen is a sophomore, majoring in Psychology and Art, and minoring in Human Development. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, she plans on working as a counselor working with patients in a nursing homes or working with children. Sophia interned with Psychology and Stuff in Fall of 2017 and Spring of 2018, and interned with All the Rage Spring of 2018.