Anger - Professor Eddie Harmon-Jones

What is this research about?

Anger contributes to aggression and health-related problems such as cardiovascular disease. It is also a basic emotion that likely served important adaptive functions.

Research in Professor Harmon-Jones’ lab aims to understand anger (and anger-related emotions such as jealousy) and how it might differ from other negative emotions. For example, for decades, emotion theories had posited that positive emotions were associated with approach motivation (i.e., the urge to go toward something) and that negative emotions were associated with withdrawal motivation (i.e., the urge to go away from something).

Challenging these theories, the lab’s research has revealed that anger is often associated with approach motivation, whereas most other negative emotions (e.g., fear, disgust) are often associated with withdrawal motivation.

Publications relating to this research:

Harmon-Jones, E., & Harmon-Jones, C. (2016). Anger. In L. F. Barrett, M. Lewis, & J. Haviland-Jones (Eds.), Handbook of Emotions, 4th ed. (pp. 774-791). New York: Guilford Press.

Angus, D., Kemkes, K., Schutter, D., & Harmon-Jones, E. (2015). Anger is associated with reward-related electrocortical activity: Evidence from the reward-related positivity. Psychophysiology, 52, 1271-1280.

Gable, P. A., Poole, B. D., & Harmon-Jones, E. (2015). Anger narrows perceptual and conceptual cognitive scope. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 109, 163-174.

Kelley, N. J., Eastwick, P. W., Harmon-Jones, E., & Schmeichel, B. J. (2015). Jealousy increased by induced relative left frontal cortical activity. Emotion, 15, 550-555.

Schutter, D. J. L. G., & Harmon-Jones, E. (2013). The corpus callosum: A commissural road to anger and aggression. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 37, 2481-2488.

Kelley, N. J., Hortensius, R., & Harmon-Jones, E. (2013). When anger leads to rumination: Induction of relative right frontal cortical activity with transcranial direct current stimulation increases anger-related rumination. Psychological Science, 24, 475-481.

Peterson, C. K., & Harmon-Jones, E. (2012). Toward an understanding of the emotion-modulated startle eyeblink reflex: The case of anger. Psychophysiology, 49, 1509–1522.

Peterson, C. K., & Harmon-Jones, E. (2012). Anger and testosterone: Evidence that situationally-induced anger relates to situationally-induced testosterone. Emotion, 12, 899-902. DOI: 10.1037/a0025300

Hortensius, R., Schutter, D. J.L.G., & Harmon-Jones, E. (2012). When anger leads to aggression: Induction of relative left frontal cortical activity with transcranial direct current stimulation increases the anger-aggression relationship. Social Cognitive Affective Neuroscience, 7, 342-347.


Social Emotive Neuroscience Lab