What makes you want to punch a wall? A study on frustration

What makes you want to punch a wall? A study on frustration

Everyone experiences frustration; you are stuck in traffic running late for a job interview. You look forward to eating that leftover piece of cake in the fridge, but a family member has already eaten it. You feel infuriated and want to lash out. Luckily, you become distracted by a funny cat video, and your anger disappears.  Coincidence? Or does the clip really affect your mood for the better?

In this particular study, us researchers look at how mood can influence aggression. Participants of the study were instructed to play a game. The game involved collecting as many coins as possible, however, there was a catch. People playing this game, would lose more coins than they gained. The game is unsolvable, leading to frustration. After playing, people would receive one out of three possible conditions.

1.  Happy statements and a happy video clip, taken from the Lion King movie (and honestly, who doesn’t love that movie) 2. Neutral statements and a neutral video clip, from a documentary about magnets. 3. No video (control condition)

As seen in other studies, showing people a happy or neutral video, will in fact significantly improve their mood. In our study, we hope that this positive change, will reduce frustration. So next time you are frustrated, consider watching a fun video, or looking up some memes, it might help you after all.

For more info: Please email fpn-rp2027-group2@maastrichtuniversity.nl

Group 2

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