- Anger in social conflict: Cross-situational comparisons and suggestions for the future
- Group Decision and Negotiation
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- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
This paper reviews research on the role of anger in conflict.We distinguish between intrapersonal and interpersonal effects of anger, the former referring to the impact of parties’ feelings of anger on their own behavior and the latter referring to the impact of one parties’ anger on the other’s behavior. We further compare the effects of anger across a variety of conflict settings, including negotiation, ultimatum bargaining, prisoner’s dilemma, resource dilemma, and coalition formation.
At the intrapersonal level, anger is associated with competition in all conflict settings.
In contrast, the interpersonal effects of anger differ across situations, with anger sometimes
eliciting cooperation, sometimes eliciting competition, and sometimes having no effect. Based on the research reviewed, we conclude that the interpersonal effects of anger in conflict are determined by the level of interdependence of the parties, their information processing tendencies, and the justifiability of the anger expressions.
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