Here’s a new anger management tool for your toolbox: The news media. And it’s a tool that women and men apparently use differently.
I can’t say I’ve ever conceived of using news media for managing anger. But an Ohio State University researcher did and the results are interesting. As reported in Study Shows How Men and Women Use News Media Differently to Manage Anger, communications professor Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick deliberately provoked anger in male and female research participants, then gave them a choice of real news stories to read. Here’s what happened:
Researchers found that when men were angered and anticipate the chance to retaliate, they chose to read negative online news stories, presumably to sustain their anger until their opportunity to get even…Women faced with the same situation, however, chose to read more positive news to help dissipate their anger before a possible confrontation.
Need to finish a difficult conversation while you’re still feeling some anger about it? This research suggests that your choice of media (reading material, music, television show) will influence your frame of mind. So choose carefully. Says Knobloch-Westerwick, “Our media use is not just for entertainment or information. It can also be functional, helping us to regulate our moods for what we’re doing.”