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Anger Management


Anger management is the psychological process whereby the individual learns to recognize signs of increasing anger and then take action in order to calm one’s emotions. Anger management is not about emotion suppression rather it is learning how to appropriately express a normal human emotion without escalating a situation. Below is a sample Introduction of a research paper on anger management. You can order a custom research paper from Paper Masters.

Anger Management

Anger Management Strategies

Anger management strategies can be learning in many popular psychology books found in any local bookstore. However, many individuals will find that participating in an anger management class or an individualized course of therapy from a professional counselor is the most effective way to control one’s anger issues.

The inability of an individual to control one’s anger can have serious ramifications. Some individuals have what are popularly known as a “short fuse” or “hot temper.” These individuals may have explosive outbursts of anger. Anger then becomes a problem when the individual hurts others.

Explaining Anger

According to the National Anger Management Association, anger can be defined as simply a negative emotion or mood. Novaco’s model of anger would suggest that it is a stress reaction with cognitive, behavioral, and physiological components. Defined operationally, anger is the inability to suppress aggressive acting out or severe withdrawal. Most experts would agree that regardless of the particular definition offered, anger is a basic emotion. As such, the purpose of anger is to enable us to adapt to some demand of our environment; “anger propels animals to attack or destroy”. In other words, anger is a coping mechanism used in times of stress. Anger can range in intensity from annoyance to rage, which might include behavioral displays of aggression or even violence. Brehm and Kassin suggest that “anger consists of strong feelings of displeasure in response to a perceived injury; the exact nature of these feelings (for example, outrage, hate, or irritation) depends on the specific situation.”

Basically, there are three theories of emotion.

  1. The first is the James-Lange Theory, which suggests that environmental stimuli generate physiological responses resulting in an emotion. So, specifically with regard to anger, we may perceive that we are being attacked, which causes negative physiological responses such as increased  respiration rate and blood pressure, and we respond by feeling angry.
  2. The Cannon-Bard Theory of Emotion suggests that we experience emotions and particular physiological responses simultaneously. In the case of anger, we perceive a threat and respond with negative physiological reactions and the emotion of anger at the same time.
  3. The Cognitive Theory of Emotion suggests that emotions rely on environmental cues. We perceive a threat and, as a result, experience physiological changes, taking note of environmental cues that are available. We cognitively interpret and evaluate the situation and label our emotion as “anger.”

If the last theory is accurate, then this would indicate that labeling of an emotion as anger is somewhat learned. At the very least, most psychologists would agree that individuals learn to identify a specific set of physiological responses and environmental cues as anger.

However, all three theories of emotions also suggest that sympathetic physiological responses are involved in emotion.  This would indicate that perhaps there is an aspect of emotion that is not learned but innate. In fact, many experts suggest that as early as one month of age, babies demonstrate facial expressions that are suggestive of the emotion of anger. As children get older, they learn to associate these physiological feelings with more complicated events and situations. In other words, children become more sophisticated at perceiving threats, not only to physical safety but to self-esteem, pride, and other psychological phenomena. But it is also conceivable that the child learns to perceive a threat in a situation where none exists.

Anger Management Assignment

Anger management strategies teach how to express anger without hurting others. For some individuals, this is a skill that requires substantial amounts of practice under the care of a professional. However, anger management allows the individual to control a situation and achieve desired results in a calm and rational manner without the need to resort to explosive emotions and violence.

A typical anger management assignment may look like this:

View the movie "Anger Management" with Adam Sandler and identify the three leading stressors in the main characters life and explain if any of the stress reducing/anger reducing techniques prescribed by Dr. Buddy Rydell (Jack Nicholson) are legitimate.  If not, what stress management practices would be most effective? 

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