Anger and Prosocial Behavior

Emotion Review 6 (3):261-268 (2014)


Anger is often primarily portrayed as a negative emotion that motivates antagonistic, aggressive, punitive, or hostile behavior. We propose that this portrayal is too one-sided. A review of the literature on behavioral consequences of anger reveals evidence for the positive and even prosocial behavioral consequences of this emotion. We outline a more inclusive view of anger and its role in upholding cooperative and moral behavior, and suggest a possible role of equity concerns. We also suggest new predictions and lines of research derived from our perspective.

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