Are we bottling up our anger or letting it out? TestYourself.psychtests.com Releases Results Of Their Anger Research
TestYourself reveals how well we deal with our anger, and uncovers the impact this emotion can have if not channeled in a healthy manner.
MONTREAL, CANADA (MARKETWIRE) -- October 17, 2011
TestYourself.psychtests.com, a pioneer in online personality, career, and IQ assessments, reveals results of their Anger Management study. Their findings indicate that while most people experience a moderate level of anger, those who don't regulate this emotion effectively often face serious consequences in the workplace and in their personal life.
Anger, at best, has a checkered reputation. Keeping it bottled up is bad for your health. Venting it without a certain degree of restraint is destructive, both literally and figuratively. Rumination will make your anger even worse. Cathartic release by dropping a 30lb bowling ball through your ex's windshield or punching pillows will not, contrary to popular belief, make you feel much better, and may actually fuel your aggression.
"It's not so much the emotion of anger itself that is necessarily 'wrong'," points out Dr. Ilona Jerabek, president of the company. "Given sufficient provocation, like seeing your significant other cheating on you, or getting told off by a customer, will warrant a reaction - it's normal. The issue lies in how we release it. A person has every right to feel angry and to express it, but yelling insults or breaking plates will not do the trick. Anger needs to be expressed, but it needs to be done calmly, assertively and it needs to incorporate constructive solutions for the problem."
And how well did TestYourself's population of test-takers fair in anger management? On a scale from 0 to 100, the average score for feelings of anger was 56, indicating that most people experience anger to a moderate degree. Gender differences were few and minor, although women did experience slightly more anger than men, and were also slightly more likely to dwell on situations that upset them. Age differences revealed that younger age groups experienced higher levels of anger than older age groups (average of 60 for those under 18 year of age, 55 for those older than 25). In addition, test-takers who experienced higher levels of anger and who were more likely to dwell on anger-inducing situations were also less satisfied with their job and, not surprisingly, had poorer performance reviews.
In addition to scores on anger levels, TestYourself's Anger Management Test also provided test-takers with an anger "type", which also revealed interesting differences in how people with diverse anger styles dealt with their emotions.
"Our study reveals that the difference between people with an "Attacker" anger style (physically aggressive) vs. a "Transcender" anger style (striving to rise above the anger-inducing situation) isn't that the latter group doesn't experience any anger at all," states Dr. Jerabek. "Trascenders do get angry, but it depends on the situation. In extreme, emotionally-charged circumstances, they let their anger out. The difference, however, is how."
The "hows" sometimes varied significantly. Take the following anger scenarios, and the different reactions of Attackers and Transcenders:
- When a mover, recommended by a family member, drops a priceless heirloom, the top response for Attackers (45%) was to yell at the mover for being so irresponsible. The top response for Transcenders (45%) was to call the family member who recommended the mover, and suggest that they not refer him to anyone, anymore.
- When finding their car boxed-in between two other cars in the parking lot of their gym, the top response for Attackers (48%) was to wait for the owners and tell them off when they returned. The top response for Transcenders (30%) was to leave a note on each windshield, and wait for the owners in café.
- When their sibling is a victim of medical malpractice, 69% of Attackers and 73% of Transcenders stated they would sue the doctor. However, 28% Attackers also stated that they would physically harm the doctor, compared to 7% of Transcenders.
- Suspecting their partner of infidelity after seeing them walking arm-in-arm with someone else, 39% of Attackers would scream at their partner and accuse them of infidelity when they returned home, 37% would calmly ask for an explanation, and 22% might physically attack their partner. 64% of Transcenders would calmly ask for explanation, 21% would scream and accuse their partners, and 6% might physically attack them.
"While our data is still preliminary and we are continuing to collect more information, the differences we are already seeing offer important insights," concludes Dr. Jerabek. "Anger is a normal emotion. Everyone experiences it and will often express it. But our study clearly shows that some people, rather than reacting on a knee-jerk, will take a moment to step back, put the anger-inducing situation in perspective, and find a healthy way to channel it. We may not be able to control the things that trigger our anger, but how we express it is our choice."
Here are some anger management tips from TestYourself:
- Communicate your anger. If people would sit down more and talk things out with each other, many disagreements can either be prevented, or settled with as little damage as possible. But there are some communication rules to follow. For instance, make sure to really listen to others. Try not to become defensive when they are having their say, even when you feel you are being criticized. Second, speak clearly and concisely. Let others know why you are feeling angry and how you want to resolve the issue. Do this in a constructive manner, however. Don't launch an all-out verbal attack. Finally, realize that swearing, insults, criticism or ultimatums are not only hurtful and counterproductive, but you may just end up saying something that you'll regret.
- Change the way you think. Our thoughts and reactions are reprogrammable, if we just put in the time and effort to work on them. This is called "cognitive restructuring." For example, try to see an anger-inducing situation from different perspectives. Ask yourself, for example, if it will matter to you in a month, 6 months, or a year. You can also try to find that "silver lining". No matter how frustrating a situation may be, chances are that a good lesson can be learned from it.
- Relax. If a situation has really upset, take a moment to cool off a bit before dealing with the issue. Let a clearer head prevail. Easier said than done, but relaxation is physiologically incompatible with anger - when you relax, the anger will subside. Take deep breathes, go outside and get some fresh air, or do a task that you find soothing, like mowing the lawn, meditating, or sweating the anger away at the gym. Once you're in a better state of mind, move on to resolution.
- Don't shy away from or underestimate the benefits of professional help. If you find that your anger tends to get out of hand, it may be a good idea to consider therapy. Anger management classes or even just talking to a therapist can help you understand your anger tendencies and help you find better ways to express yourself. If you don't want to do it for others, then consider the benefits it could provide to your emotional, mental, and physical health.
Those who wish to take the Anger Management Test can go to: http://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/3045
TestYourself.psychtests.com is a subsidiary of PsychTests AIM Inc. TestYourself.psychtests.com is a site that creates an interactive venue for self-exploration with a healthy dose of fun. The site offers a full range of professional-quality, scientifically-validated psychological assessments that empower people to grow and reach their real potential through insightful feedback and detailed, custom-tailored analysis.
About Psychtests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts. The company's research division, Plumeus Inc., is supported in part by Research and Development Tax Credit awarded by Industry Canada.
Ilona Jerabek, Ph.D., President
Psychtests AIM Inc.