DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.01548

Acta Psychologica Sinica (心理学报) 2017/49:12 PP.1548-1558

The relationship between trait anger and aggressive behavior: Based on the perspective of the integrative cognitive model

Based on the prior models and empirical studies, the Integrative Cognitive model (ICM) discusses the differences among individuals with different trait anger in the processes of hostile interpretation, ruminative attention and effort control in hostile situation, and explores how these differences lead to different behavioral outcomes. Based on the assumptions of ICM, the hostile cognition and anger rumination may mediate the relationship between trait anger and aggressive behavior, and hostile cognition may also predict anger rumination. Furthermore, ICM proposes that as one of effort control factors, cognitive reappraisal reduces aggressive behavior through disturbing the process of hostile cognition. Above all, we investigated whether the relationship between trait anger and aggressive behavior was mediated by hostile cognition and anger rumination, and further explored whether cognitive reappraisal moderated the relationship between hostile cognition and aggressive behavior. Furthermore, researches in the field of emotion regulation indicated that there would be different models among trait anger and aggressive behavior due to the different levels of cognitive reappraisal. Therefore, it was also our aim to expand the ICM by investigating if there were other moderating modes of cognitive reappraisal.
To examine the relationship among trait anger, hostile cognition, anger rumination, cognitive reappraisal and aggressive behavior, 742 students from freshmen to junior of Southwest University were surveyed by The Trait Anger Scale (TAS), Anger Rumination Scale (ARS), Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ) and The Aggression Questionnaire (AQ). The results were as follows:(1) There were significantly positive correlations among trait anger, hostile cognition, anger rumination and aggressive behavior while cognitive reappraisal was not significantly correlated with the others. (2) Hostile cognition played a partial mediation between trait anger and aggressive behavior. And hostile cognition also played a partial mediation between trait anger and anger rumination. (3) Cognitive reappraisal moderated the mediation effect of hostile cognition on aggressive behavior. Specifically, for individuals with high cognitive reappraisal, the influence of hostile cognition on aggressive behavior was lower than those with low cognitive reappraisal. (4) There were different models among trait anger and aggressive behavior due to the different levels of cognitive reappraisal. For individuals with high cognitive reappraisal, trait anger influenced aggressive behavior mainly via its own direct effect; for individuals with low cognitive reappraisal, hostile cognition and anger rumination completely mediated the relationship between trait anger and aggressive behavior.
The current study is the first empirical research which provides comprehensive proof for the ICM. The mediation and moderation analysis results support the different role of hostile cognition and anger rumination between trait anger and aggressive behavior, and proved the moderation of cognitive reappraisal between hostile cognition and aggressive behavior, which is proposed by ICM. Moreover, the multiple-group analysis result expands the assumption of the role of cognitive reappraisal in ICM. This study is not only a theoretical exploration, but a noteworthy suggestion for psychological counseling that it's better to design different intervention programs for individuals with different levels of cognitive reappraisal.

Key words:trait anger,hostile cognition,anger rumination,cognitive reappraisal,aggressive behavior

ReleaseDate:2018-03-06 06:55:26

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