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Losing Your Temper and Your Perspective: Anger Reduces Perspective-Taking

Dr. Jeremy Yip, assistant professor of management at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, won the 2019 Prize for Research in Public Interest Communications for his paper, “Losing Your Temper and Your Perspective: Anger Reduces Perspective-Taking.”

The video above is from Yip’s talk at frank 2019 in Gainesville, Florida.

The research, conducted over six studies, looked at how both incidental anger and integral anger reduce perspective-taking.

  • Study 1 showed how participants who felt incidental anger were less likely to take others’ perspectives than those who felt neutral emotion.
  • Study 2 and 3 demonstrated that arousal mediates the relationship between anger and diminished perspective-taking.
  • Study 4 and 5 showed that anger reduces perspective-taking compared to neutral emotion, sadness, and disgust.
  • Study 5 found that integral anger impairs perspective-taking compared to neutral emotion.
  • Study 6 showed that prompting individuals to correctly attribute their feelings of incidental anger moderates the relationship between anger and perspective-taking.

The research identified a robust relationship between anger and diminished perspective-taking. The findings have particularly important implications for conflict, which is often characterized by feelings of anger and exacerbated by poor perspective-taking.

The full research, co-authored with Dr. Maurice Schweitzer, Cecilia Yen Koo Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, is available here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749597816308172

Posted: May 3, 2019
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