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Thursday, 4 November 2010

How anger makes you want things more

Researchers found that associating an object with anger actually makes people want the object.

For the study participants watched a computer screen while images of common objects, like a mug or a pen, appeared on the screen. What they didn't realize was that immediately before each object appeared, the screen flashed either a neutral face, an angry face, or a fearful face. This subliminal image tied an emotion to each object. At the end of the experiment, the participants were asked how much they wanted each object. In a second version of the experiment, they had the person squeeze a handgrip to get the desired object -- those who squeezed harder were more likely to win it. People put more effort in action to obtain objects associated with angry faces.

When participants were asked why they worked harder to get it, they said, 'It's just because I like it.' That shows how little we know about our own motivations."

The study above into motivation shows how even emotions that we would usually consider to be undesirable and negative can actually be a driving force behind getting what we want - possibly without ever knowing that's the reason.

Think back to school, there would always but that smug class-mate that thought they were the best at everything. How much did they annoy you? (Or maybe they were you?) Didn't you want to beat this person at whatever you could, not necessarily because you wanted to win, and if there wasn't this rival perhaps you wouldn't even bother, but because of your anger you strive to achieve.

Maybe schools or universities or even jobs use this competition to their advantage? or maybe 'Angry-Advertising' could be the tv-commercials of the future!

Link to Article

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