Sweetened blood cools hot tempers: physiological self-control and aggression
Article first published online: 9 NOV 2010
© 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Volume 37, Issue 1, pages 73–80, January/February 2011
How to Cite
DeWall, C. N., Deckman, T., Gailliot, M. T. and Bushman, B. J. (2011), Sweetened blood cools hot tempers: physiological self-control and aggression. Aggr. Behav., 37: 73–80. doi: 10.1002/ab.20366
- Issue published online: 3 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 9 NOV 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 30 AUG 2010
- Manuscript Received: 14 MAR 2010
Aggressive and violent behaviors are restrained by self-control. Self-control consumes a lot of glucose in the brain, suggesting that low glucose and poor glucose metabolism are linked to aggression and violence. Four studies tested this hypothesis. Study 1 found that participants who consumed a glucose beverage behaved less aggressively than did participants who consumed a placebo beverage. Study 2 found an indirect relationship between diabetes (a disorder marked by low glucose levels and poor glucose metabolism) and aggressiveness through low self-control. Study 3 found that states with high diabetes rates also had high violent crime rates. Study 4 found that countries with high rates of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (a metabolic disorder related to low glucose levels) also had higher killings rates, both war related and non-war related. All four studies suggest that a spoonful of sugar helps aggressive and violent behaviors go down. Aggr. Behav. 37:73–80, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.