Cognitive Therapy and Research

, Volume 41, Issue 4, pp 654–661 | Cite as

The Effects of Anger Rumination and Cognitive Reappraisal on Anger-In and Anger-Control

  • Masaya TakebeEmail author
  • Fumito Takahashi
  • Hiroshi Sato
Original Article


Many studies have suggested that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is efficacious for anger expression problems. However, it is still unclear which emotion regulation strategies are most effective for anger-in (a tendency to suppress anger) and anger-control (a tendency to calm angry feelings). In the present study, anger rumination and cognitive reappraisal were manipulated, and their effects on anger-in and anger-control were investigated with a within-subjects design. Participants were 46 Japanese undergraduates assigned to the three conditions; free recall (no regulation strategy), anger rumination, and cognitive reappraisal. Results indicated that, compared to free recall and anger rumination, cognitive reappraisal, taking a third-person perspective and thinking about positive aspects of an anger-related event, induced fewer angry feelings, alleviated anger-in, and facilitated anger-control. Given that CBT has been efficacious for anger expression, CBT might facilitate taking a third-person perspective and thinking about the event more flexibly in clients.


Anger-in Anger-control Anger rumination Cognitive reappraisal 



The authors would like to thank Kana Hashimoto, Yosuke Maeda, Yuri Matsuoka, Kimika Suzuki, Erika Toyama, and Sumire Yoshihara for help with data collection.


This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP16J02752.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Masaya Takebe, Fumito Takahashi, and Hiroshi Sato declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Animal Rights

No animal studies were carried out by the authors for this article.


  1. Baron, K. G., Smith, T. W., Butner, J., Nealey-Moore, J., Hawkins, M. W., & Uchino, B. N. (2007). Hostility, anger, and marital adjustment: Concurrent and prospective associations with psychosocial vulnerability. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 30, 1–10.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Beck, A. T. (1976). Cognitive therapy and the emotional disorders. New York: International Universities Press.Google Scholar
  3. Beck, A. T., Rush, A. J., Shaw, B. F., & Emery, G. (1979). Cognitive therapy of depression. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  4. Cattarin, J. A., Thompson, J. K., Thomas, C., & Williams, R. (2000). Body image, mood, and televised images of attractiveness. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 19, 220–239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dahlen, E. R. (2007). Cognitive therapy for clinically dysfunctional anger: A case study. Clinical Case Studies, 6, 493–507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Dahlen, E. R., & Martin, R. C. (2005). The experience, expression, and control of anger in perceived social support. Personality and Individual Differences, 39, 391–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Deffenbacher, J. L., Dahlen, E. R., Lynch, R. S., Morris, C. D., & Gowensmith, W. N. (2000). An application of Beck’s cognitive therapy to general anger reduction. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 24, 689–697.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Del Vecchio, T., & O’Leary, K. D. (2004). Effectiveness of anger treatments for specific anger problems: A meta-analytic review. Clinical Psychology Review, 24, 15–34.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Denson, T. F., Moulds, M. L., & Grisham, J. R. (2012). The effects of analytical rumination, reappraisal, and distraction on anger experience. Behavior Therapy, 43, 355–364.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. DiGiuseppe, R., & Tafrate, R. C. (2004). The anger disorders scale. Tronto: Multi-Health Systems.Google Scholar
  11. DiGiuseppe, R., & Tafrate, R. C. (2007). Understanding anger disorders. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Eckhardt, C., Jamison, T. R., & Watts, K. (2002). Anger experience and expression among male dating violence perpetrators during anger arousal. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 17, 1102–1114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Eisenlohr-Moul, T. A., Peters, J. R., Pond, R. S. Jr., & DeWall, C. N. (2016). Both trait and state mindfulness predict lower aggressiveness via anger rumination: a multilevel mediation analysis. Mindfulness, 7, 713–726.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. Fabiansson, E. C., Denson, T. F., Moulds, M. L., Grisham, J. R., & Schira, M. M. (2012). Don’t look back in anger: Neural correlates of reappraisal, analytical rumination, and angry rumination during recall of an anger-inducing autobiographical memory. NeuroImage, 59, 2974–2981.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Grodnitzky, G. R., & Tafrate, R. C. (2000). Imaginal exposure for anger reduction in adult outpatients: A pilot study. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 31, 259–279.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Gross, J. J. (1998). The emerging field of emotion regulation: An integrative review. Review of General Psychology, 2, 271–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gross, J. J. (2013). Handbook of emotion regulation. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  18. Heinberg, L. J., & Thompson, J. K. (1995). Body image and televised images of thinness and attractiveness: A controlled laboratory investigation. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 14, 325–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jorgensen, R. S., & Kolodziej, M. E. (2007). Suppressed anger, evaluative threat, and cardiovascular reactivity: A tripartite profile approach. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 66, 102–108.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 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.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Martin, R. C., & Dahlen, E. R. (2005). Cognitive emotion regulation in the prediction of depression, anxiety, stress, and anger. Personality and Individual Differences, 39, 1249–1260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Matsumoto, D., Yoo, S. H., & Nakagawa, S. (2008). Culture, emotion regulation, and adjustment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94, 925.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. McDermut, W., Fuller, J. R., DiGiuseppe, R., Chelminski, I., & Zimmerman, M. (2009). Trait anger and Axis I disorders: Implications for REBT. Journal of Rational-Emotive & Cognitive Behavior Therapy, 27, 121–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mohr, P., Howells, K., Gerace, A., Day, A., & Wharton, M. (2007). The role of perspective taking in anger arousal. Personality and Individual Differences, 43, 507–517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ray, R. D., Wilhelm, F. H., & Gross, J. J. (2008). All in the mind’s eye? anger rumination and reappraisal. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94, 133–145.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Spielberger, C. D. (1988). State-trait anger expression inventory (STAXI) research edition. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.Google Scholar
  27. Spielberger, C. D., Johnson, E. H., Russell, S. F., Crane, R. J., Jacobs, G. A., & Worden, T. J. (1985). The experience and expression of anger: Construction and validation of an anger expression scale. In M. A. Chesney & R. H. Rosenman (Eds.), Anger and hostility in cardiovascular and behavioural disorders. Washington, DC: Hemisphere.Google Scholar
  28. Spielberger, C. D., Krasner, S. S., & Solomon, E. P. (1988). The experience, expression, and control of anger. Individual differences, stress, and health psychology (pp. 89–108). New York, NY: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Spielberger, C. D., & Reheiser, E. C. (2009). Assessment of emotions: Anxiety, anger, depression, and curiosity. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 1, 271–302.Google Scholar
  30. Sukhodolsky, D. G., Kassinove, H., & Gorman, B. S. (2004). Cognitive-behavioral therapy for anger in children and adolescents: A meta-analysis. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 9, 247–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Suzuki, T., & Haruki, Y. (1994). The Relationship between anger and circulatory disease. Japanese Journal of Health Psychology, 7, 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Szasz, P. L., Hofmann, S. G., Heilman, R. M., & Curtiss, J. (2016). Effects of regulating anger and sadness on decision-making. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, 45, 479–495.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Szasz, P. L., Szentagotai, A., & Hofmann, S. G. (2011). The effect of emotion regulation strategies on anger. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 49, 114–119.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Tafrate, R. C., Kassinove, H., & Dunedin, R. (2002). Anger episodes of angry community residents. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 58, 1573–1590.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Trew, J. L., & Alden, L. E. (2009). Predicting anger in social anxiety: The mediating role of rumination. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 47, 1079–1084.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. Whiteside, S. P., & Abramowitz, J. S. (2005). The expression of anger and its relationship to symptoms and cognitions in obsessive–compulsive disorder. Depression and Anxiety, 21, 106–111.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masaya Takebe
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Fumito Takahashi
    • 3
  • Hiroshi Sato
    • 4
  1. 1.Graduate School of PsychologyKansai UniversityOsakaJapan
  2. 2.Research Fellow of Japan Society for the Promotion of ScienceTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Institute of EducationShinshu UniversityNaganoJapan
  4. 4.School of HumanitiesKwansei Gakuin UniversityNishinomiyaJapan

Personalised recommendations