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June 16, 2007, 05:54 PM

Thanks for raising this.

I question the entire premise drawn from their Research.

Let me break it down...

the researchers induced anger in a group of college students by either asking them to write about a past experience that had made them very angry, or by having their stated hopes and dreams harshly criticized by another participant

The researchers later checked to be sure that the subjects were as riled up as they were supposed to be.

HOW was the level of Riled Up-ness determined? HOW was it decided the students had reached this level? Sounds a bit Thin to me.

The two groups were then asked to read either compelling or weak arguments designed to convince them that college students have good financial habits

WHO decided the arguments were compelling or weak and WHAT CRITERIA did they base this decision on?

Two Arguments are presented to two groups. One group is Angry the other is not. The angry group is influenced by one argument while the other group is not influenced by one argument any more than the other.

ALL they have determined is, certain arguments will Influence angry people more than calm people. After the results, they would then know that one argument was, by conclusion, more compelling.

The angry students were also better at weighing the arguments appropriately depending on which organization had made them.

Another way to assess this result is to say, the angry students were More Easily Influenced by the presentation of Credentials claiming some kind of Authority over the subject matter.

The researchers repeated the experiment... This time, they tested only those subjects who were the least analytical, or in other words, those who were the least likely to make logical decisions.

How was it determined these people were the Least Analytical? Surely not based on their Hard To Influence nature which they exhibited in the previous questionable conclusions, which the researchers deem not to be Hard To Influence but rather Least Analytical? Interesting choice of words from these Researchers.

they found that the angry subjects were better able to discriminate between strong and weak arguments than the ones who were not angry

Let me fix it... they found the angry subjects were more easily influenced by one set of arguments over another. The argument which had more influence was Then deemed a Strong argument.

suggesting that anger can transform even those people who are, by disposition, not very analytical into more careful thinkers

Funny, I find the research Suggests something else. That Angry people are more easily influenced by some things and not others. If the influencing thing is in agreement with the researcher, the researcher deems it to be a logical decision made after a strong compelling reason. If the thing is not in agreement with the researcher, the researcher deems it a weak argument.

Their findings, suggest that anger helps people focus on the cues that matter most to making a rational decision and ignore cues that are irrelevant to the task of decision-making.

No, their findings show angry people are more easily influenced by some arguments and not others. That is all. Nothing new here. Like...

The father who discovers his Best Mate has raped his 12 year old daughter. He thus finds it Logical to lure his mate to a location and execute him for the crime, instead of informing the police and letting Their form of justice take its course.

Depending on your point of view, you will deem one argument and action to be Right Action and another to be Wrong Action. If your deeming of Right Action and Wrong Action is in agreement with the Govt's deeming, then you will be said to have acted Logically by some, maybe even by many.

On the other hand, if Your deeming of Right Action and Wrong Action is in disagreement with the Govt's deeming, you will be said to have acted illogically, even rashly, by some and mabe even by many.

Why is it wrong for the father to execute the man but alright for the govt to do it? Due process? What if the man confessed to it? Is it right or wrong Then to do it instead of the govt? Explain your answer.

And even with this simple example we will have those who say No Death Penalty is justifiable, and those who don't think the death penalty is wide enough. They all get very Emotional (Angry?) over the subject. Two groups of angry people with opposing views. Seems to contradict what those researchers claim, doesn't it? I mean, going by the researchers, the anger should make the angry all agree as they would all see which argument is the best one.

Their research is questionable and their conclusions even more so as they are riddled with their own bias and opinions and not neutral in the ideal scientific way. Also, as they are both employed by a university their research can be nothing more than trying to justify their jobs - as they don't need to perform like those outside of academia do - and even get Grant Money for the Research. Also, as they are part of the university system as well as in the Psychology department, there is a better than average chance these Researchers are raving lefties trying to nullify an idea of anger being harmful.

With such research ulitmately finding its way into the Court room were criminals can be deemed to be not as bad after all (let off a bit). And once again the criminal thrives on the indulgence of society's understanding.

I am sure they deem their research and credentials to be Strong Compelling Arguments for the case. And yet, somehow I know, whether angry or not, people will not be influenced into accepting their erroneous conclusions. After all, the results speak for themselves - angry people take actions they would not normally take, which result in detrimental results to themselves. And anything that results in a detriment to the self is Wrong Action and goes against our prime motives of Self Preservation.

I wonder how those researchers would try to Justify those who sit in jail because they let anger get the better of them?

Michael Ross

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