Is there any evidence that a little bit of inner anger is healthy when engaging in problem solving? I personally feel this way, but feel that people around me misinterpret my anger as being directed at them and the world around me instead of at the problem I'm trying to solve. Thanks.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Anger is constituted by a large amount of cognitive, behavioral, physiological, and experiential variability, so the (unsatisfying) answer is that it likely varies depending on the context (e.g., the problem being solved, the person, the setting)! $\endgroup$ – mrt May 11 '16 at 2:42
  • $\begingroup$ Are there no graphs of how these variables interact? Where did you get your answer from? Can you please core a reference (or is this your personal experience from work)? $\endgroup$ – Jack Maddington Sep 27 '16 at 22:20

According the the Yerkes–Dodson law, a moderate level of arousal gives energy to the task, improving performance.

The Yerkes–Dodson law is an empirical relationship between arousal and performance, originally developed by psychologists Robert M. Yerkes and John Dillingham Dodson in 1908. The law dictates that performance increases with physiological or mental arousal, but only up to a point. When levels of arousal become too high, performance decreases.

Anger is an emotion that creates arousal, but it is also a negative emotion that makes other people more hostile and negative. Other emotions that create positive arousal are excitement, interest, curiosity etc.

  • $\begingroup$ I find it hard to grasp how psychologists define the various types of emotions in a meaningful manner. And how did they manage to measure arousal? What empirical measures did Yerkes and Dodson use? Thanks. $\endgroup$ – Jack Maddington May 17 '16 at 19:38
  • $\begingroup$ Hi, @DesignerAnalysr, can you please answer the question in my comment above? Thanks. $\endgroup$ – Jack Maddington Sep 27 '16 at 22:18
  • $\begingroup$ @JackMaddington find here the original article with all the experiment details at psychclassics.yorku.ca/Yerkes/Law $\endgroup$ – DesignerAnalyst Oct 9 '16 at 15:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.