Anger Tickles Me: Emotional Energy Transfer From Anger to Humor

Monica Wadhwa, Stanford University
Jennifer Aaker, Stanford University
In this research, we propose that anger, when channeled, can make people funnier. We argue that a match between anger and humor on two dimensions, arousal and approach motivation, drives the proposed effects. Consistent with our predictions, we show that anger (as compared to a specific negative emotion associated with avoidance motivation, such as anxiety) indeed makes people more humorous. Moreover, our results indicate that anger can be more effectively translated to humor versus gratitude, a low arousal emotion. Implications for the psychology of affect regulation and the functional use of specific emotion are discussed.
[ to cite ]:
Monica Wadhwa and Jennifer Aaker (2008) ,"Anger Tickles Me: Emotional Energy Transfer From Anger to Humor", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 112-116.