Prior research has shown that exerting self-control can lead to increased aggression. In the present research, we find that exerting self-control is associated with angry behavior more broadly. In particular, using a “matched-choice paradigm,” we find that after exerting self-control people exhibit increased preference for anger-themed content, greater interest in faces exhibiting anger, greater endorsement of anger-framed appeals, and greater irritation to others’ attempts to control their behavior. We speculate on the possible mechanisms underlying these effects and discuss the theoretical, methodological, and practical implications of this research.

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