Anger: Cognitive and motivational determinants

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

A survey of the literature shows that most investigators of anger agree that the evocation of anger is based on interpreting aversive stimuli in a manner that promotes anger and on aggressive behaviors linked to the experience of anger. The cognitive elaboration of the stimuli is often presented in great detail whereas the behavioral component is mostly attributed to inborn tendencies and learned habits. The present chapter focuses on two major issues: the cognitive characteristics of individuals who tend to interpret aversive stimuli in a manner that promotes anger, and the motivational disposition that may result in a behavior that expresses overtly the experienced anger. The cognitive characteristics of the interpretation of stimuli are elaborated in terms of meaning assignment processes, in the framework of the theory of meaning which led to the identification of the meaning profile of anger on the basis of correlational and experimental studies. The motivational disposition for behavior manifesting anger is studied in the framework of the cognitive orientation theory which led to the identification of a set of beliefs of four types orienting toward aggressive behavior, that has been validated in several studies. The cognitive and motivational components constitute the major elements of a blueprint or an overall theory of anger - its emergence, manifestations, and the potentialities of controlling it.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPsychology of Anger
Subtitle of host publicationSymptoms, Causes and Coping
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Pages179-195
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9781612096155
StatePublished - 2011

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