Angry people aren’t as smart as they think they are.
These are the findings of a recent study with the title “Why do angry people overestimate their intelligence? Neuroticism as a suppressor of the association between Trait-Anger and subjectively assessed intelligence,” (I am clearly not too smart because that title totally confuses me) and published in the journal Intelligence.
“Trait anger,” according to Anger Management for Dummies – which is the first link that comes up when you Google it – “refers to a chronic, long-standing personality characteristic that shows up as an almost constant tendency to become angry at the slightest provocation.”
According to Psypost, study author Marcin Zajenkowski of the University of Warsaw said “In a recent project I examined the relationship between anger and various cognitive functions. I noticed from the literature review that anger differs significantly from other negative emotions, such as sadness, anxiety or depression. Anger is more approach oriented and associated with optimistic risk perception and generally optimistic bias.
“I was wondering whether people with high trait anger would manifest a bias in perception of their abilities and competence. Specifically, I tested whether high anger leads to positive intelligence illusion.”
Zajenkowski conducted two studies involving a total of 528 participants who completed a measure of their liability to anger, rated their intelligence on a 25 point scale, and then took intelligence tests.
The researchers found that people who confessed to having a quick temper also had a tendency to overestimate their own intelligence. They also found that anger was associated with narcissism.
“Individuals with high trait anger have a tendency to overestimate their abilities, i.e. thinking that they are smarter than they actually are. This part of anger is associated with narcissistic illusions,” Zajenkowski told PsyPost.
What this means? If you get mad easily, you’re probably an idiot. Or something like that. I’m not a psychologist.
This will come as no great shock to anyone with that friend whose always losing their shit and going off on angry rants about how stupid everyone else is. But it’s nice to have proof.