Self-control and aggression

Thomas F. Denson, C. Nathan DeWall, Eli J. Finkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

136 Scopus citations

Abstract

Psychological science has largely neglected the role of self-control in studying aggression. Fortunately, the past half decade has witnessed a surge of research on this long-neglected topic, including two self-control-informed integrative theories of aggression. Robust experimental evidence demonstrates that self-control failures frequently predict aggression and, conversely, that bolstering self-control decreases aggression. Research on rumination also suggests that maladaptive anger regulation decreases self-control and, consequently, increases aggression. Advances from social-affective and cognitive neuroscience suggest that the neural mechanisms involved in emotion regulation and cognitive control mediate the relationship between deficient self-control and aggression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-25
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2012

Keywords

  • aggression
  • rumination
  • self-control
  • social neuroscience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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