Journal of ISSN: 2373-6445JPCPY

Psychology & Clinical Psychiatry
Review Article
Volume 4 Issue 3 - 2015
Data on Self-reported Daily Emotions: Effects of Education, Age, and Gender
Leon James*
Department of Psychology, University of Hawaii, USA
Received: November 05, 2015 | Published: November 19, 2015
*Corresponding author: Leon James, Department of Psychology, University of Hawaii, USA, Email:
Citation: James L (2015) Data on Self-reported Daily Emotions: Effects of Education, Age, and Gender. J Psychol Clin Psychiatry 4(2): 00195. DOI: 10.15406/jpcpy.2015.04.00195

Abstract

More than 1100 people visiting a Web site chose to fill out a 70-item survey on their recurrent daily emotional experiences. Results are presented for each question broken down in terms of gender, age, and educational background. The data presented in this study gives information about the patterns of negative and positive emotions that people are conscious of and are able to verbally report and assess as to frequency and intensity. Statistical evaluation is given separately for each of the 70 items and summary trends are discussed. Given the Tables, readers are able to explore further each type of emotion and how they are related to each other. Examples of two of the items are:“It’s healthy to express anger, to let off steam, to get it out, to vent – Agree / Disagree” and “How often do you experience anger, rage, or hate?” – Daily, hourly, weekly, never.

Keywords: Rage; Depression; Self-report; Emotions; Anger

Introduction

According to WHO (1996), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is considered as one of the most incapacitating and a leading cause of disability among anxiety disorders [1]. OCD constitutes either obsessions or compulsions or commonly both. An obsession refers to unwanted or intrusive thoughts, urges or mental images which enter one’s mind repeatedly whereas compulsions refer to repetitive behaviors or mental acts that one feels compelled to act upon [2]. Sometimes, the term ‘ritual’ is also used as synonymous of compulsion but that usually means one’s those behaviors that are observable to others. These behaviors or rituals are time consuming and adversely impact one’s family relationships (such as marital discord); cause financial burden, frustration, anxiety and anger among family members [3-6] disrupt social relationships [7] interfere with one’s leisure time activities [8] and achievement of educational and/or occupational goals [7,9].

People suffering from OCD might also actively or furtively involve their care giver or family member in their rituals and avoidance behaviors that is frustrating for them because their involvement make things even more worse [10]. This involvement refers to accommodating the OCD [11]. Denial or disbelief is another way how families respond to OCD. As a result, families often experience complex and uncomfortable emotions (e.g., anxiety, anger and frustration) that affect their relationships in addition to their family life [3]. Sometimes, guilt is felt by the parents about their child suffering from OCD. What needs to be understood by them is that they can play a vital role in their child’s recovery process and maintenance of good mental health [4]. It is because being hopeful positively relates with active problem solving and high social support but relates negatively with coping strategies involving denial and disengagement [12]. Among all the categories of anxiety disorders, people suffering from OCD show greater impairment in family functioning [13,14]. OCD fears are of irrational nature and caregivers sometimes expect from the sufferer that they should have greater control over their avoidance behaviors and rituals. This type of attribution relates to the family’s high expressed emotions (i.e., mainly criticism or hostility towards the sufferer) [15].

Silverstein and Bengston (1997) proposed typology of inter-generational family relationships. One of the types is the “tight-knit” type relationship, which constitutes high emotional closeness i.e. family members live fairly close enough to each other, involves frequent interaction, high levels of mutual help and support among them. The other extreme of relationship is “detached type” that consists of low levels of closeness or being connected in all solidarity measures. Between these (tight-knit and detached) types of relationships, there are three other classes of family relationships. The “sociable” and “intimate-but-distant’s” types consisting low or absence of functional exchange and high affinity that suggest potential for future support and exchange respectively. Next is the “obligatory” type that involves a high connectedness (proximity and interaction) with an average level of functional exchange but on the other hand has low level of emotional attachment [16].

Since, OCD relates with high shame and fears’ regarding rejection, the concealment of obsessions is part of the said disorder [17]. Families might also take part in the process by protecting both the family and the sufferer from experiencing embarrassment and rejection inflicted by untrusted circle offriends and relatives in addition to the suffering of the disorder. Stigma sometimes called “a second illness” also plays a vital role [18]. Experiencing stigma results in social isolation and may lead to extreme social exclusion. A stigmatized individual is devalued and comes across limited life chances [18,19].

In a study it was found that the individuals with OCD stated that their symptoms negatively influenced their social life [20]. However, individuals can vary greatly in their degree of impairment. Some patients with OCD are totally unable to maintain any social relations on account of severe contamination fears whereas some have satisfying interpersonal relationships [10]. According to Mani, Interpersonal relationships refer to social associations, connections, or affiliations between two or more people. There are three types of friendship: reciprocity, receptivity and association. Reciprocity is characterized by loyalty, self-sacrifice, mutual affection and generosity. This relationship involves give and take relationship from both ends. The second type “receptivity” is characterized by imbalance in the giving and receiving of rewards. The third type is “association”, this relation is transitory, and more like a friendly relationship than a true friendship [21].

OCD patients tend to experience impairment in the familial functioning and in social interaction. Keeping in mind the problems faced by the patients in their familial and social interaction, the present study was planned to explore the familial and interpersonal relationships of patients with OCD.

Method

Our emotional habits are society’s way of maintaining people’s values and attitudes-what things arouse our interests vs. leave us uninvolved, what goals we are willing to strive to achieve, and what emotions are appropriate to express when and where. No individuals whatever their upbringing is without this “emotional self” that reacts to things through habits of socialization and enculturation. Without a socialized emotional self, social order and ethnic identity would not be possible. One implication of this is that it is possible and desirable for every adult to take charge of the emotional habit structure that one acquired without much awareness as a growing child and adolescent. By consciously managing our “daily emotional spin cycle” [1]. we can customize and adapt our preferred emotional reaction patterns to daily events and achieve a level of freedom from those instilled emotional patterns that create unhappiness, interpersonal conflict, and loss of creativity and productivity.

The habits that make up the self tend to harmonize and support each other creating the stability and predictability of our behavior as an individual personality. People know us from our habits, and when we behave differently from usual, they act surprised and want to know why. At weddings they expect guests to show a happy face and at funerals, a somber one. In the workplace co-workers and supervisors expect employees to behave appropriately and productively. But visible physical behavior tends to operate in sync with private mental and emotional behavior that is ongoing simultaneously. A fearful and suspicious employee may exhibit overt behaviors that appear rigid and hesitant, while the behavior of a confident and objective employee will appear more approachable and friendly. Job training and performance assessment normally address all three domains of the self in terms of employee attitude and motivation (emotional habits), knowledge and judgment (intellectual skills), and overt performance levels (physical habits) [2-4].

Ellis [5,6] teaches people to monitor their thinking for the occurrence of“catastrophizing” and “awfulizing” verbalizations that exaggerate risk and focus on pessimistic outcomes even if improbable. After reviewing the research findings he concludes that expressing feelings of anger without attempting to minimize them leads to an intensification of the negative emotions [7]. The intensely negative emotion of “rage, depression, or panic” can be reduced through rational challenging of the irrational core assumptions, and can be transformed into a “healthy negative one--sorrow, regret, or frustration” [6,8].

Berry [9] describes “social rage” as culturally learned and transmitted, and notes that we are “primed for rage”. James and Nahl [10] describe road rage as “culturally transmitted” and learned from parents and the media, with the back seat of the car designated as “road rage nursery”. Anderson [11] traces “aggressive thoughts” to violent movies. James [1] describes the “daily emotional spin-cycle” as reverberating through rage against others (“red zone”) and rage against self (“blue zone”) (see also Clancy [12]). Others have noted the relationship between depression and anger, e.g., "Depression is rage spread thin" [13]. Nearly 20 million American adults are thought to suffer from depression, or between 6 to 8 percent of the population [14].

The data presented in this study gives information about the patterns of negative and positive emotions that people are conscious of and are able to verbally report and assess as to frequency and intensity. Statistical evaluation is given separately for each of the 70 items and summary trends are discussed. Given the Tables, readers are able to explore in further detail the distribution of each type of emotion and how they are related to each other. Since this is a large sample (N=1170) the data may be used for baseline comparisons in population studies or case history comparisons.

The sample
The data were gathered through a public Web site that is visited by thousands of people every week looking for information on driving, cycling, surfing, legislation, and statistics. Prior experience with this site indicates that most visitors are from the United States. A 70-item emotions survey was available on the site for 6 weeks. Taking the survey was voluntary and no rewards or feedback results were provided. The survey was anonymous and the first three items were gender (M/F), five age groups (19-, 20-35, 36-55, 56-69, 70+), and three education groups (High School, College, Graduate School). The final sample consisted of the following sub-groupings:

Number of respondents in each age grouping

19-

248

20-35

461

36-55

400

56-67

53

70+

13

Number of respondents in each education grouping

High School

279

College

644

Graduate School

247

Number of respondents in the gender grouping

Men

588

Women

576

Total=1170 (cross cell totals vary slightly as a few respondents left some of the items unanswered).

The survey items are reproduced in the Appendix below. As will be seen from the Tables some of the items are of the type “Agree/Disagree”, and some are “How often”. The results are organized with each type of question. The percent of respondents who “Agree” to each item is given in the Tables. The “How often” items provided four groupings: daily, hourly, rarely/never, and weekly. The current analysis combine the daily and hourly responses into one and does not analyze the non-daily portions (weekly, rarely). This is because the focus in this report is to examine the effects of education, age, and gender on emotions that are occurring daily (Appendix 1).

Results

Table 1 shows that educational background significantly influences self-reported emotional patterns. In general, more college educated individuals report negative patterns such as being aggressive when angry, while those who have a graduate degree report the least (items 61, 64, 66, 69, 70, 71, 73). The average score for these seven items is 31 percent (high school), 51 percent (college), and 17 percent (graduate school).

In terms of their beliefs about anger (items 56, 57, 58, 60, 65), the majority (54 percent) of the college-educated individuals sees their anger as healthy or helpful, and attribute it to others who “push their buttons”. About 40 percent of the high school graduates feel this way, and 30 percent of those with graduate school.

Note that the vast majority of respondents believe in the so-called“venting myth” [10,15,16]. An example of the venting myth is item 56: “It’s healthy to express anger, to let off steam, to get it out, to vent.” It is possible that people hold on to this view because they experience an immediate physical and mental relief when they "let off steam" after they've been angered or scared by someone. Venting and letting off steam is known to be accompanied by raised levels of adrenaline in the blood [17]. Adrenaline is a stress hormone that can lower the immune system and depletes many organs of their blood supply as the body physiology mimics going into super drive [18,19]. During this emotional hijacking or “amygdala hijack” [2], the thinking or reasoning is strongly influenced and tends to blind itself, “seeing” red and interpreting what happens through distortion filters. In such emotionally impaired states one can easily commit foolish acts, draw the wrong conclusions, do harmful things that we regret later and having to face its consequences. Venting tends to be compulsive and is recurrent [20]. It doesn't let the mind go and keeps on plaguing the individual unless it is stopped by a conscious effort [21].

The belief in the “button myth”(item 57: “It’s not my fault if someone pushes my buttons and I do something to retaliate”)is not as widespread as belief in the venting myth but is also strongly influenced by educational background (32, 20, 11 percent respectively, Agree with the item). The button myth is a myth or metaphor because there are no buttons to push [10]. It's just a euphemism or excuse people learn to use for “flying off the handle” when getting angry. The psychological function of claiming that "it's not my fault", is to allow people the convenience of thinking that they are not responsible for their acts of retaliation. But society holds them responsible, both legally and morally. Feeling provoked does not mean having buttons that are being pushed. A provocation gives us a choice on how to respond, and retaliation is one type of response we can choose. But other choices exist as shown by the fact that the majority of people in this survey report that they do not apply the buttons excuse to their actions.

The statements that deal with violent behavior when angry (items 61, 64, 65, 66, 69, 70, 71, 73) are symptomatic of half of the individuals with a college background, one third of those with a high school background, and one quarter of those with a graduate school background. These items have to do with one's violent behavior when angry: throwing, banging, pushing, shoving, hitting, breaking, and cursing, as well as obsession with the anger. Note item 71: "I can't help it" which is like the buttons myth (item 57). An accompanying belief is that the individual “loses control” due to the anger (item 66). The pattern of responses is the same as noted above, namely that half of the college educated people report having this unhealthy attitude with anger, and between a quarter and a third of the high school educated individuals. Those with a graduate education seem much less plagued by this debilitating emotional belief (80 percent or more disagree with these items).

Table 2 contains three sub-types of emotions as follows: Negative emotions against self (Items 11, 21, 23, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 38, 39, 40, 43, 45, 47, 48, 49, 51, 52, 53, 54). Negative emotions against others (Items 12, 17, 20, 22, 24, 28, 34, 35, 36, 37). Positive emotions towards others (items 14, 18, 55). The average percent agreement over the twenty-one “negative emotions towards self” items is 24, 18, and 16 respectively for the three age groupings. Although the differences are small, nevertheless they are highly significant and are expected to recur in other population samples. The overall trend therefore is that the higher one’s educational background, the less tendency there is to experience daily negative emotions against self that are typical components of unhappiness, depression, and low motivation.

Agree-Disagree Items that are Statistically Significant. See Appendix Below For All Survey Questions And Details Of Statistical Analyse

 

Percent Who Agree With Item

 

Chi Sq. and P value

High School

College

Graduate School

56: It’s healthy to express anger, to let off steam, to get it out, to vent.

89

84

79

9.9**.007

57: It’s not my fault if someone pushes my buttons and I do something to retaliate.

32

20

11

37.1 **.0001

58:Anger helps you to be decisive, to protect your rights, to right wrongs.

26

51

23

2.9 n.s.

60:When I get angry at someone I tend to brood, mope or sulk, boil inside, don't s How it, and keep things in.

27

54

18

10.3**.0059

61:When I get angry I feel like throwing things, slamming doors or banging things.

28

52

20

11.1**.0039

64: I curse or say nasty things to people I am angry with

28

52

19

11.8**.0027

65: When I get angry I cannot think of anything but the thing I am angry at.

28

53

19

13.7**.0011

66: When I feel angry I lose control of my behavior.

30

51

19

2.9 n.s.

69:I get so upset with people I feel like pushing or shoving them.

34

50

16

24.4**.0001

70:If somebody hits me, I hit back.

27

56

17

17.4**.0002

71: I can't help getting into arguments when people disagree with me.

34

48

17

18.7**.0001

73: In anger I have purposely damaged property belonging to someone else.

36

48

16

20.7**.0001

Table 1: Self-reported Emotional Pattern for “Agree/Disagree” Items in Relation to Educational Background.

“ How Often” Items for Daily/Hourly Items Combined that are Statistically Significant. See Appendix Below For All Survey Questions and Details of Statistical Analysis

 

Combined Percent for Daily/Hourly

 

Chi Sq. and P value

High School

College

Graduate School

11:  How often do you experience anger, rage, or hate?

79

76

76

10.3 n.s.

12: How often do you experience enjoying fantasies of violence?

14

11

7

12.1* .05

14: How often do you experience feeling compassion for someone?”

70

70

66

31.9**.0001

17: How often do you experience feeling impatient with others?

63

63

59

17.8*.05

18: How often do you experience feeling level headed, calm, composed or collected?“

71

77

73

12.8*.046

20: How often do you experience feeling like being rude, obnoxious or sarcastic to someone?

54

38

29

39.9** .0001

21: How often do you experience feeling like you are stupid, dumb, an idiot, etc.?

33

19

18

42.8**.0001

22: How often do you experience feeling like someone else is stupid, dumb, an idiot, etc.?

61

52

43

30.1**.0001

23: How often do you experience feeling humiliated, disrespected or insulted by someone?

32

19

14

39.3**.0001

24: How often do you experience feeling like humiliating, disrespecting or insulting someone?

28

16

10

36.8**.0001

27: How often do you experience feeling criticized, picked on or being bullied?

23

14

8

27.5**.0001

28: How often do you experience feeling like picking on or bullying someone?

14

6

3

33.4**.0001

29: How often do you experience feeling discouraged or depressed?

27

28

25

4.8 n.s.

30: How often do you experience feeling like a big loser for not saying something after being taken advantage of?

17

12

8

16.2**.0125

31: How often do you experience feeling like you have no control over your emotions and that you cannot help feeling disturbed about things?

26

20

19

21.7**.0014

32: How often do you experience feeling that something must be wrong with you, that you are incompetent, inadequate or defective?

28

17

17

19.7**.0031

33: How often do you experience feeling worthless or that life is not worth all the misery and pain?

18

10

9

19.4**.0035

34: How often do you experience feeling angry because someone tries to stop you from doing what you want?

25

13

10

48.9**.0001

35: How often do you experience feeling angry because someone is inconsiderate or unfair to you?

27

21

20

21.5**.0015

36: How often do you experience feeling angry because someone hurts your feelings?

22

11

8

40.2**.0001

37: How often do you experience feeling angry because someone has talked badly about you behind your back?

16

5

5

59.4**.0001

38: How often do you experience feeling shame?
39: How often do you experience a depressed mood,
constant fatigue, feeling downcast?

11
11

8
8

7
7

12.8*.05
22.1**.0012

40: How often do you experience difficulty in making decisions, completing tasks, distractedness?

32

28

26

14.0*.0274

43: How often do you experience being dejected, melancholy, sad?

22

16

11

20.1**.0026

45: How often do you experience frequent crying, feeling miserable, feeling sorry for self?

13

8

6

14.1**.0296

47: How often do you experience lack of enthusiasm, having the blues, dull, bored?

29

24

16

15.5*.0167

48: How often do you experience feeling hopeless, low spirits, despondent, cheerless?

15

13

9

18.6**.0048

49: How often do you experience feeling dumpy, ugly, unattractive?

31

24

20

16.0*.0136

51: How often do you experience feeling restless, pent-up, up-tight?

26

20

20

14.2*.0270

52: How often do you experience feeling sorrow, grief, guilt, self-blame?

14

10

7

15.9*.0144

53: How often do you experience ruminating, exaggerating, sulking?

11

10

6

13.3*.0385

54: How often do you experience suicidal thoughts?

8

2

3

22.7**.0009

55: How often do you experience being hopeful, optimistic or enthusiastic about your future?

46

46

46

n.s.

Table 2: Self-reported Emotional Pattern for “ How Often” Items in Relation to Educational Background.

With respect to “positive emotions towards others”, the averages for the three items are 62, 64, 62 respectively, for the three education groupings. It appears from this that positive emotions are reported by respondents at three times the frequency of negative, and that educational background is not a salient issue in this “Pollyanna” effect [22-24].

With respect to “negative emotions against others”, the averages for the ten items are 32, 23, 19 respectively for the three education groupings. This pattern is similar to the negative emotions against self. It appears therefore that negativity against self reverberates as negativity against others, with amount of education being capable of reducing both effects [1].

The results in Table 3 indicate that age plays a visible role in how much stress and anger are experienced on a daily basis (items 4, 9), showing gradually less stress and anger with more advanced age.In contrast to this pattern, there is no consistent age effect on positive self-perceptions (items 5, 7). Again, the self-reported positive emotions for all age groups are more prominent or intense (around 7) than the negative (around 5).

The results in Table 4 show that the averages for the twenty negative items against self are 30, 24, 17, 16, 6 respectively, for the five age groupings. There is a clearly visible effect of age, with a gradual reduction of daily negative emotions as one progress from teens to old age. With respect to the ten items of “negative against others”, the averages are 37, 27, 11, 14, 8, respectively, for the five age groups, which makes the age effect clearly visible, indicating a gradually decreasing daily negativity against others with advancing age.

The data in Table 5 deal with anger management patterns in relation to age. Once again there is here confirmation that anger management greatly improves as one gets progressively older. This can be seen most clearly with the violent expressions (items 69, 70, 73). The average percent agreement with negative expressions of anger for the eleven items are 54, 45, 37, 33, 29 respectively for the five age groups, thus confirming the age effect with these types of items as well. The “venting myth” (item 56), which was clearly visible in relation to educational background (averages of 89, 84, 79-see Table 1), is here replicated in relation to age, indicating that with advancing age less people depend on this belief. It may be interesting to note that feeling regret after expressing anger (item 63) is an emotion felt by the vast majority of respondents in all age groupings. This finding reinforces the idea that expressing one’s own anger is seen by people as a negative trait.

The results in Table 6 with regard to the twelve “negative emotions against self” that came out significant (items 11, 27, 29, 31, 32, 40, 41, 42, 45, 49, 52, 53), indicate averages of 20 for men and 19 for women. In other words, summing over all education and age groups, there seems to be no gender effect for expressing negative emotions against oneself. With regard to ten “negative emotions against others” (Items 12, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 34, 36, 37, 50), the average percent agreement for men is 33 and for women, 24. Clearly, more men express daily and hourly negativity against others than women do. With regard to the three “positive emotions towards others”. Only one of the positive emotional expressions (item 14) reached significance level, indicating women to show more daily and hourly compassion than men (71 vs. 61 percent).

Mean Ratings of Items That are Statistically Significant. See Appendix Below For All Survey Questions and Details of Statistical Analysis

 

Mean Ratings (1 to 10)

 

ANOVA
F and
P value

19-

20-35

36-55

56-69

70+

4: How much stress do you experience daily on a scale of 1-10?1=least;10=most

5.7

5.7

5.8

5.1

3.8

4.73**.0009

5: How compassionate a person do you consider yourself to be on a scale of 1-10?1=least;10=most

7.1

7.1

7.4

6.4

7.1

3.11*.0147

7:  How good a person do you consider yourself to be on a scale of 1-10? 1=least;10=most

7.2

7.5

7.5

7.0

7.2

2.38*.0503

9:  How much anger do you experience daily on a scale of 1-10? 1=least;10=most

5.2

5.0

4.4

3.6

2.7

13.28**.0001

Table 3: Self-reported Emotional Pattern for “ How Much” Items in Relation to Age Grouping.

Percent for “Daily/Hourly” Items that are Statistically Significant. See Appendix Below for All Survey Questions and Details of Statistical Analysis.

 

Combined Percent for Daily/Hourly

 

Chi Sq. and P value

19-

20-35

36-55

56-69

70+

11: How often do you experience anger, rage, or hate?

45

 

39

27

23

23

48.20**.0001

12: How often do you experience enjoying fantasies of violence?

17

12

6

2

8

55.29**.0001

14: How often do you experience feeling compassion for someone?

73

68

69

66

54

66.26**.0001

15: How often do you experience feeling competitive with others?

54

50

37

37

15

44.52**.0001

17: How often do you experience feeling impatient with others?

63

66

51

43

23

16.32.1770

18: How often do you experience feeling levelheaded, calm, composed or collected?

74

71

80

79

62

22.90*.0286

20: How often do you experience feeling like being rude, obnoxious or sarcastic to someone?

60

48

24

11

8

160.14**.0001

21:  How often do you experience feeling like you are stupid, dumb, an idiot, etc.?

38

20

16

15

8

69.12**.0001

22: How often do you experience feeling like someone else is stupid, dumb, an idiot, etc.?

64

57

41

43

31

68.83**.0001

23: How often do you experience feeling humiliated, disrespected or insulted by someone?

35

20

15

8

8

66.73**.0001

24: How often do you experience feeling like humiliating, disrespecting or insulting someone?

34

19

8

4

0

101.26**.0001

25: How often do you experience feeling annoyed, bothered, irritable or upset?

56

56

38

34

8

66.89**.0001

26: How often do you experience feeling used, ill-treated, taken advantage of?

28

23

21

17

8

20.92*.0515

27: How often do you experience feeling criticized, picked on or bullied?

23

15

11

8

0

36.40**.0003

28:  How often do you experience feeling like picking on or bullying someone?

17

6

4

2

0

77.04**.0001

29:  How often do you experience feeling discouraged or depressed?

31

31

21

25

0

29.44**.0034

30: How often do you experience feeling like a big loser for not saying something after being taken advantage of?

18

15

7

8

0

41.69**.0001

31: How often do you experience feeling like you have no control over your emotions and that you cannot help feeling disturbed about things?

28

26

14

13

8

68.73**.0001

32:  How often do you experience feeling that something must be wrong with you, that you are incompetent, inadequate or defective?

27

21

12

23

8

44.20**.0001

33: How often do you experience feeling worthless or that life is not worth the misery and pain?

21

11

9

11

0

36.74**.0002

34:  How often do you experience feeling angry because someone tries to stop you from doing what you want?

31

16

6

6

0

120.91**.0001

35: How often do you experience feeling angry because someone is inconsiderate or unfair to you?

34

23

14

17

8

74.39**.0001

36: How often do you experience feeling angry because someone hurts your feelings?

27

12

6

8

0

87.48**.0001

37: How often do you experience feeling angry because someone has talked badly about you behind your back?

18

7

2

4

0

87.31**.0001

38: How often do you experience shame?

14

9

6

4

0

37.00**.0002

39: How often do you experience depressed mood, constant fatigue, downcast?

28

21

17

17

0

34.14**.0006

40: How often do you experience difficulty in making decisions, completing tasks, distractedness?

42

33

18

17

0

77.13**.0001

41: How often do you experience expecting the worst, constantly fearful of what might happen, pessimistic?

30

26

14

17

8

40.32**.0001

42: How often do you experience feeling alienated, disconnected, demoralized, disillusioned, neglected, rejected?

21

17

11

15

8

31.33**.0018

43: How often do you experience being dejected, melancholy, sad?

24

17

11

17

8

34.06**.0007

44: How often do you experience feeling like a failure, diminished self-esteem, ineffectual, powerless?

17

15

12

11

8

19.87.0696

45: How often do you experience frequent crying, feeling miserable, feeling sorry for self?

14

9

6

9

0

38.18**.0001

46: How often do you experience feeling gloom, dread?

37

32

26

25

8

23.29*.0254

47: How often do you experience lack of enthusiasm, having the blues, dull, bored?

33

28

14

15

8

66.13**.0001

48: How often do you experience being hopeless, of low spirits, despondent, cheerless?

19

14

9

15

8

40.31**.0001

49: How often do you experience feeling dumpy, ugly, unattractive?

31

28

19

16

8

45.32**.0001

50: How often do you experience fault finding, score keeping, being critical of everyone?

23

23

15

9

0

46.36**.0001

51: How often do you experience being restless, pent-up, up-tight?

25

25

16

21

8

39.28**.0001

52: How often do you experience excessive sorrow, grief, guilt, self-blame?

16

10

7

11

0

21.65*.0417

53: How often do you experience ruminating, exaggerating, sulking?

14

10

6

6

8

29.01**.0039

55: How often do you experience being hopeful, optimistic or enthusiastic about your future?

51

47

43

43

46

21.69*.0411

Table 4: Self-reported Emotional Pattern for “ How Often” Items in Relation to Age.

Percent who Agree Items that are Statistically Significant. See Appendix Below for All Survey Questions and Details of Statistical Analysis.

 

Percent who Agree

 

Chi Sq. and P value

19-

20-35

36-55

56-69

70+

56: It's helpful to express anger, to let off steam, to get it out, to vent. Do you agree or disagree?

90

86

81

70

69

20.73**.0004

57: It's not my fault if someone pushes my buttons and I do something to retaliate. Do you agree or disagree?

38

23

10

8

8

79.65**.0001

61: When I get angry I feel like throwing things, slamming doors or banging things. Do you agree or disagree?

62

53

43

42

23

27.82**.0001

62: My temper helps me to get others to do what I want. Do you agree or disagree?

17

15

9

8

15

12.11**.0166

63: I have gotten angry and later regretted something I did or said. Do you agree or disagree?

81

81

89

89

85

11.63*.0203

64: I curse or say nasty things to people I am angry with. Do you agree or disagree?

61

50

44

42

31

20.85**.0003

65: When I get angry I cannot think of anything but the thing I am angry at. Do you agree or disagree?

61

58

42

36

23

45.72**.0001

69: I get so upset with people that I feel like pushing or shoving them. Do you agree or disagree?

45

28

19

8

8

64.65**.0001

70: If somebody hits me, I hit back. Do you agree or disagree?

67

31

45

40

46

42.80**.0001

71: I can't help getting into arguments when people disagree with me. Do you agree or disagree?

38

24

10

17

8

74.29**.0001

73: In anger I have purposely damaged property belonging to someone else. Do you agree or disagree?

32

18

13

2

0

50.32**.0001

Table 5: Self-reported Emotional Pattern for “Agree/Disagree” Items in Relation to Age.

How often Items for Daily/Hourly that are Statistically Significant. See Appendix Below for All Survey Questions and Details of Statistical Analysis

Combined Percent for Daily/Hourly

Chi Sq. and P value

Men

Women

11: How often do you experience anger, rage, or hate?

40

31

13.60**.0035

12: How often do you experience enjoying fantasies of violence?

15

5

60.86**.0001

14: How often do you experience feeling compassion for someone?

61

72

40.67**.0001

15: How often do you experience feeling competitive with others?

60

35

52.74**.0001

17: How often do you experience feeling impatient with others?

63

55

11.23**.0106

20: How often do you experience feeling like being rude, obnoxious or sarcastic to someone?

45

35

10.87**.0125

22: How often do you experience feeling like someone else is stupid, dumb, an idiot, etc.?

60

44

32.97**.0001

24: How often do you experience feeling like humiliating, disrespecting or insulting someone?

23

13

27.09**.0001

27: How often do you experience feeling criticized, picked on or bullied?

13

16

8.36*.0391

29: How often do you experience feeling discouraged or depressed?

26

28

9.23*.0264

31: How often do you experience feeling like you have no control over your emotions and that you cannot help feeling disturbed about things?

20

23

19.83**.0002

32: How often do you experience feeling that something must be wrong with you, that you are incompetent, inadequate, defective?

18

20

10.66**.0137

34: How often do you experience feeling angry because someone tries to stop you from doing what you want?

18

12

13.07**.0045

36: How often do you experience feeling angry because someone hurts your feelings?

11

14

18.58**.0003

37: How often do you experience feeling angry because someone has talked badly about you behind your back?

7

8

8.49*.0368

40: How often do you experience difficulty in making decisions, completing tasks, distractedness?

30

27

11.47**.0095

41: How often do you experience expecting the worst, constantly fearful of what might happen, pessimistic?

24

20

12.08**.0071

42: How often do you experience feeling alienated, disconnected, demoralized, disillusioned, neglected, rejected?

19

13

11.63**.0088

45: How often do you experience frequent crying, feeling miserable, feeling sorry for self?

8

9

25.74**.0001

49: How often do you experience feeling dumpy, ugly, unattractive?

20

29

49.59**.0001

50: How often do you experience fault finding, score keeping, critical of everyone?

23

17

14.70**.0021

52: How often do you experience excessive sorrow, grief, guilt, self-blame?

12

9

10.93**.0121

53: How often do you experience ruminating, exaggerating, sulking?

12

7

9.55*.0228

Table 6: Self-reported Emotional Pattern for “ How often” Items in Relation to Gender.

Discussion

The results in the six Tables can be summarized as follows:

  1. College educated individuals report more negative emotional patterns on a daily basis such as being aggressive and violent when angry, and attribute their anger to others who “push their buttons”.
  2. The more education one has, the less one experiences daily negativity against self and against others.
  3. Positive emotions are reported more than negative by all education and age groups.
  4. With advancing age one experiences less stress and anger.
  5. The age effect shows that there is a gradual reduction of daily negative emotions against self and others as one progresses from teens to old age.
  6. More younger people tend to believe in the “venting myth” and the “button myth” by which they perceive others as the locus of control for their anger.
  7. The majority of people of all ages experience regret after expressing anger.
  8. There is no clear difference between men and women regarding the expression of negative emotions against self, but more men than women express negativity towards others.

With respect to the gender effect, the National Institute of Mental Health Web site states that, “Men often experience depression differently than women. While women with depression are more likely to have feelings of sadness, worthlessness, and excessive guilt, men are more likely to be very tired, irritable, lose interest in once-pleasurable activities, and have difficulty sleeping.” (NIMH, 2014). Robbins [25] questioned young adults about “minor acts of aggression”, and reports the following contrast in percentage for men vs. women: Insulting or swearing (67vs. 53), Sulking or refusing to talk (60 vs. 52), and Threatening to hit or throw (10 vs. 24). The reverse relationship occurs for: Pushing, grabbing, shoving partner (21 vs. 29), and Slapping partner (6 vs. 19). In the present study, the average for items of “negative against others” is 33 percent for men vs. 24 percent for women (Table 6).

A perhaps surprising, yet seemingly important, finding in this study is that the majority of people of all ages experience regret after expressing anger, despite the fact that they feel justified in doing so (e.g., “they push my button” etc.). This point to a dissonant or conflictual relationship in people’s daily thinking and reasoning about them. Future research might explore how regret after expressing anger could be used as a motivational force to give up relying on anger when losing self-control.

References

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