Mad as hell? New discoveries about the experience of anger

Nov 30, 2009

Younger people, those with children and less-educated individuals are more likely to experience anger, according to new UofT research that examines one of the most common negative emotions in society.

Drawing upon national survey data of more than 1,000 Americans aged 18 and older, Professor Scott Schieman from the Sociology Department at the University of Toronto has published new findings about the experience of anger. In a chapter in the forthcoming International Handbook of Anger, to be released in January 2010, Schieman documents the basic social patterns and contexts of anger. His main findings include:

  • Younger people experience more frequent anger than older adults. This is mainly due to the fact that younger people are more likely to feel time pressures, economic hardship, and interpersonal conflict in the workplace (three core stressors that elevate anger levels);
  • Feeling rushed for time is the strongest predictor of anger, especially the "low-grade" forms like feeling annoyed;
  • Having children in the household is associated with angry feelings and behaviour (i.e., yelling) and these patterns are stronger among women compared to men;
  • Compared to people with fewer years of education, the well-educated are less likely to experience anger, and when they do, they are more likely to act proactively (e.g., trying to change the situation or talking it over);
  • Individuals who experience more financial strain tend to report higher levels of anger. This relationship is much stronger among women and younger adults.
"The sociological analysis of anger can shed light on the ways that the conditions of society influence emotional inequality," says Schieman. "Why do some people seem to experience more than others? And what does this say about and its impact in our everyday lives?"

Source: University of Toronto (news : web)

Explore further: Hallucinations and delusions more common than thought

Related Stories

Men More Prone to Maladies When Mad

Feb 03, 2006

If you're a male who has trouble controlling your temper, you might find yourself in the hospital the next time you get angry. After interviewing people who had been seriously injured, a University of Missouri-Columbia researcher ...

Study shows the upside of anger

Mar 26, 2008

Here’s a maxim from the “duh” department: People typically prefer to feel emotions that are pleasant, like excitement, and avoid those that are unpleasant, like anger.

Recommended for you

Homely men who misbehave can't win for losing

3 hours ago

Women tolerate an unattractive man up to a point, but beware if he misbehaves. Then they'll easily shun him. So says Jeremy Gibson and Jonathan Gore of the Eastern Kentucky University in the U.S., after finding ...

Challenging students benefit from limit setting

3 hours ago

The teacher's interaction style can either foster or slow down the development of math skills among children with challenging temperaments. This was shown in the results of the study "Parents, teachers and children's learning" ...

Are antidepressants more effective than usually assumed?

3 hours ago

Many have recently questioned the efficacy of the most common antidepressant medications, the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). The conclusion that these drugs are ineffective is however partly ...

The analogy that builds human thought

4 hours ago

When Niels Bohr hypothesised his model of atom with the electrons orbiting the nucleus just like satellites orbit a planet, he was engaging in analogical reasoning. Bohr transferred to atoms the concept of ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.