A Brief History of Anger

  • Michael Potegal
  • Raymond W. Novaco


Stories, myths, and religious beliefs reveal the powerful role that anger has played in human affairs since the beginning of recorded history. The projections of anger into the supernatural by ancient and pre-literate societies trying to account for the terrifying vagaries of nature testify to their experience with, and appreciation of, the baleful influence of anger in the human sphere. It has served as an instrument of the moral order, as cast in religious narratives and works of art, literature, and drama, and as legitimized in social rules. Various philosophies of human nature, moral conduct, and the search for perfection in human behavior have struggled to determine the essentials of anger. It is fundamentally linked to our representations of personal and societal order and disorder.


Moral Order Anger Control Protestant Denomination Roman Emperor Prompt Corrective Action 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.University of CaliforniaIrvineUSA

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