Director: Eric R. Dahlen, Ph.D.
What is Anger?
Anger is an emotional state that ranges from minor frustration and annoyance to intense rage. It involves characteristic physiological, cognitive, and behavioral components.
At the physiological level, anger involves arousal of the autonomic nervous system. This is typically experienced as a rush of adrenaline, muscle tension, increased heart rate, and other sensations which are how our bodies prepare us for action.
Cognitively, anger involves the perception of some sort of threat to ourselves, our property, our self-image, or other areas with which we identify. During an angry episode, we are likely to perceive even neutral events as being intentional, unfair, and undeserved, making us even angrier.
The behavioral component of anger includes the manner in which anger is communicated. Some people tend to suppress their anger, holding it inside until they feel like they are going to boil over; others express their anger outwardly in uncontrolled displays yelling, slamming doors, or even threatening others.