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Anger Roundup

June 23, 2006

Lots of people get angry over little things. And now a study shows that lots of people act on that rage, too.


The biology of rage. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

As many as 16 million Americans may have a condition known as Intermittent Explosive Disorder. The symptoms? Explosive rage and violence over a relatively mild situation. Over seven percent of those surveyed had three or more such incidents in their lives. A high percentage of these people have workplace and marital problems, as well as a higher rate of alcohol and drug abuse. Yet few reported seeking medical help, primarily because of embarrassment about their condition.

In other psychology news, scientists report that when competitive athletes suffer a defeat, the experience inhibits a part of their brain involved in planning muscle activity. They conclude that a single defeat may result in mental problems that make future defeat more likely.

I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.