Don’t Worry, Be Angry? Effects of Anger on Feelings, Thoughts, and Actions in Conflict and Negotiation

  • Gerben A. Van Kleef


This chapter reviews research on the role of anger in conflict and negotiation. I focus on three broad classes of dependent variables that I roughly call feelings, thoughts, and actions to refer to (1) affective states and interpersonal sentiments, (2) conscious thought processes, and (3) actual conflict behavior. In addition, I distinguish between intrapersonal and interpersonal effects of anger, with intrapersonal effects referring to the influence of an individual’s anger on his or her own feelings, thoughts, and actions and interpersonal effects referring to the influence of one individual’s anger on the feelings, thoughts, and actions of one or more other conflict parties. The review reveals that at the intrapersonal level, anger is associated with hostile feelings, biased perceptions and attributions, and competitive behavior. At the interpersonal level, anger sometimes elicits reciprocal hostility that motivates competition and sometimes strategic considerations that motivate cooperation. Recent studies that incorporated several moderators to reconcile these disparate sets of findings are discussed.


Anger Expression Competitive Behavior Interpersonal Effect Interpersonal Level Legitimate Power 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Preparation of this chapter was facilitated by a research grant from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO-VENI 451–05-010). I thank Astrid Homan for her comments on an earlier draft of this chapter.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social PsychologyUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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