The authors acknowledge support from the NSF's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NSF/EPSCoR).
The Anatomy of Anger: An Integrative Cognitive Model of Trait Anger and Reactive Aggression
Version of Record online: 20 JAN 2010
© 2010, Copyright the Authors. Journal compilation © 2010, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Personality
Special Issue: Trait Anger and Reactive Aggression: Edited by: Michael D. Robinson and Benjamin M. Wilkowski
Volume 78, Issue 1, pages 9–38, February 2010
How to Cite
Wilkowski, B. M. and Robinson, M. D. (2010), The Anatomy of Anger: An Integrative Cognitive Model of Trait Anger and Reactive Aggression. Journal of Personality, 78: 9–38. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2009.00607.x
- Issue online: 20 JAN 2010
- Version of Record online: 20 JAN 2010
ABSTRACT This paper presents an integrative cognitive model, according to which individual differences in 3 cognitive processes jointly contribute to a person's level of trait anger and reactive aggression. An automatic tendency to attribute hostile traits to others is the first of these cognitive processes, and this process is proposed to be responsible for the more frequent elicitation of anger, particularly when hostile intent is ambiguous. Rumination on hostile thoughts is the second cognitive process proposed, which is likely to be responsible for prolonging and intensifying angry emotional states. The authors finally propose that low trait anger individuals use effortful control resources to self-regulate the influence of their hostile thoughts, whereas those high in trait anger do not. A particular emphasis of this review is implicit cognitive sources of evidence for the proposed mechanisms. The authors conclude with a discussion of important future directions, including how the proposed model can be further verified, broadened to take into account motivational factors, and applied to help understand anger-related social problems.