Send to

Choose Destination
Am Psychol. 1990 Apr;45(4):494-503.

On the formation and regulation of anger and aggression. A cognitive-neoassociationistic analysis.

Author information

University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Noting that a wide variety of unpleasant feelings, including sadness and depression, apparently can give rise to anger and aggression, I propose a cognitive-neoassociationistic model to account for the effects of negative affect on the development of angry feelings and the display of emotional aggression. Negative affect tends to activate ideas, memories, and expressive-motor reactions associated with anger and aggression as well as rudimentary angry feelings. Subsequent thought involving attributions, appraisals, and schematic conceptions can then intensify, suppress, enrich, or differentiate the initial reactions. Bodily reactions as well as emotion-relevant thoughts can activate the other components of the particular emotion network to which they are linked. Research findings consistent with the model are summarized. Experimental findings are also reported indicating that attention to one's negative feelings can lead to a regulation of the overt effects of the negative affect, I argue that the model can integrate the core aspect of the James-Lange theory with the newer cognitive theories of emotion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Psychological Association
Loading ...
Support Center