Fret not thyself: The persuasive effect of anger expression and the role of perceived appropriateness
SourceMotivation and Emotion, 42, 1, (2018), pp. 103-117
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI CW
Motivation and Emotion
SubjectCommunication and Media
Anger expression is increasingly prevalent in Western mass media, particularly in messages that aim to persuade the audience of a certain point of view. There is a dearth of research, however, investigating whether expressing anger in mediated messages is indeed effective as a persuasive strategy. In the present research, the results of four experiments showed that expressing anger in a persuasive message was perceived as less socially appropriate than expressing non-emotional disagreement. There was also evidence that perceived appropriateness mediated a negative persuasive effect of anger expression (Study 2-4) and that anger expression resulted in perceptions of the persuasive source as unfriendly and incompetent (Studies 1 and 2). In all, the findings suggest that politicians and other public figures should be cautious in using anger as a persuasive instrument.
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