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Psychophysiology. 2001 Mar;38(2):190-6.

The effect of expressing anger on cardiovascular reactivity and facial blood flow in Chinese and Caucasians.

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School of Psychology, Murdoch University, Western Australia.


Blood pressure, heart rate, and changes in facial and finger blood flow were monitored in 24 male Chinese and 24 male Caucasians while they described anger-provoking incidents and read out neutral material, either loudly and rapidly or softly and slowly. Describing the incidents loudly and rapidly heightened anger ratings and enhanced digital vasoconstriction but not blood pressure or heart rate; however, anger enhanced blood pressure during soft, slow speech. Facial blood flow increased during anger expression, irrespective of speech style, but decreased when neutral material was read out. The findings suggest that an increase in facial blood flow reduces peripheral vascular resistance during anger expression, and that baroreflexes attenuate increases in heart rate and blood pressure. Racial background did not influence subjective reports or physiological responses, possibly because the procedure did not draw strongly enough on cultural taboos.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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