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Drawn to danger: trait anger predicts automatic approach behaviour to angry faces.
Cogn Emot. 2017 06; 31(4):765-771.CE

Abstract

Most people automatically withdraw from socially threatening situations. However, people high in trait anger could be an exception to this rule, and may even display an eagerness to approach hostile situations. To test this hypothesis, we asked 118 participants to complete an approach-avoidance task, in which participants made approach or avoidance movements towards faces with an angry or happy expression, and a direct or averted eye gaze. As expected, higher trait anger predicted faster approach (than avoidance) movements towards angry faces. Crucially, this effect occurred only for angry faces with a direct eye gaze, presumably because they pose a specific social threat, in contrast to angry faces with an averted gaze. No parallel effects were observed for happy faces, indicating that the effects of trait anger were specific to hostile stimuli. These findings suggest that people high in trait anger may automatically approach hostile interaction partners.

Authors+Show Affiliations

a Department of Clinical Psychology , VU University Amsterdam , Amsterdam , The Netherlands.a Department of Clinical Psychology , VU University Amsterdam , Amsterdam , The Netherlands.a Department of Clinical Psychology , VU University Amsterdam , Amsterdam , The Netherlands. b School of Communication , The Ohio State University , Columbus , OH , USA.a Department of Clinical Psychology , VU University Amsterdam , Amsterdam , The Netherlands.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

Language

eng

PubMed ID

26892837

Citation

Veenstra, Lotte, et al. "Drawn to Danger: Trait Anger Predicts Automatic Approach Behaviour to Angry Faces." Cognition & Emotion, vol. 31, no. 4, 2017, pp. 765-771.
Veenstra L, Schneider IK, Bushman BJ, et al. Drawn to danger: trait anger predicts automatic approach behaviour to angry faces. Cogn Emot. 2017;31(4):765-771.
Veenstra, L., Schneider, I. K., Bushman, B. J., & Koole, S. L. (2017). Drawn to danger: trait anger predicts automatic approach behaviour to angry faces. Cognition & Emotion, 31(4), 765-771. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2016.1150256
Veenstra L, et al. Drawn to Danger: Trait Anger Predicts Automatic Approach Behaviour to Angry Faces. Cogn Emot. 2017;31(4):765-771. PubMed PMID: 26892837.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Drawn to danger: trait anger predicts automatic approach behaviour to angry faces. AU - Veenstra,Lotte, AU - Schneider,Iris K, AU - Bushman,Brad J, AU - Koole,Sander L, Y1 - 2016/02/19/ PY - 2016/2/20/pubmed PY - 2018/1/9/medline PY - 2016/2/20/entrez KW - Approach-avoidance motivation KW - emotions KW - facial expressions KW - trait anger SP - 765 EP - 771 JF - Cognition & emotion JO - Cogn Emot VL - 31 IS - 4 N2 - Most people automatically withdraw from socially threatening situations. However, people high in trait anger could be an exception to this rule, and may even display an eagerness to approach hostile situations. To test this hypothesis, we asked 118 participants to complete an approach-avoidance task, in which participants made approach or avoidance movements towards faces with an angry or happy expression, and a direct or averted eye gaze. As expected, higher trait anger predicted faster approach (than avoidance) movements towards angry faces. Crucially, this effect occurred only for angry faces with a direct eye gaze, presumably because they pose a specific social threat, in contrast to angry faces with an averted gaze. No parallel effects were observed for happy faces, indicating that the effects of trait anger were specific to hostile stimuli. These findings suggest that people high in trait anger may automatically approach hostile interaction partners. SN - 1464-0600 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/26892837/Drawn_to_danger:_trait_anger_predicts_automatic_approach_behaviour_to_angry_faces_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -