The effects of physical formidability of anger and aggression
MacDonald Alistair dissertation 2013.docx (342.7Kb)
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The recalibrational model of human anger predicts that physically formidable men should experience anger more often, use aggression to get what they want and be more likely to physically fight. Several previous studies have identified both that anger relates to physical formidability and that zero-acquaintance viewers are able to assess fighting ability from physique alone. The current study hopes to bring these findings together by testing the hypothesis that raters (made up of 22 male and 20 female undergraduate students) would be able to accurately gauge anger and aggression from physique alone using upper body cues relating to formidability. The results provide mixed support for the recalibrational model by identifying that raters are able to accurately identify formidable individuals as being more likely to try and use aggression to get what they want. However, against predictions, self-reported anger proneness and fight history were shown to be unrelated to physique, thus raters were unable to gauge either with any accuracy. Whilst physical formidability may play a part in anger and aggression this study argues that the relationship is not as strong as has been previously suggested and that many other factors may be involved.