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Various forms of existential distress are associated with aggressive tendencies

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posted on 2019-03-20, 10:00 authored by Wijnand A.P. van Tilburg, Eric Raymond IgouEric Raymond Igou, Paul J. Maher, Joseph Lennon
We propose that aggressive tendencies are more (vs. less) pronounced among people who frequently (vs. less frequently) experience challenges to their perceived meaning in life. We tested this hypothesis for three different forms of existential distress: loneliness, boredom, and disillusionment. The results of Study 1 confirm that loneliness is associated with aggressive tendencies and that this positive association can be partly attributed to the search for meaning that comes with loneliness. The results of Study 2 indicate that meaning search plays a similar role in the relationship between boredom proneness and aggressive tendencies. Finally, the results of Study 3 indicate that the more often people feel disillusioned, the more pronounced their aggressive tendencies are, and this association is again partly attributable to meaning search. These findings suggest that aggressive tendencies have roots in existential distress and in the motivation to find meaning in life.

History

Publication

Personality and Individual Differences;144, pp. 111--119

Publisher

Elsevier

Note

peer-reviewed

Rights

This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Personality and Indiviual Differences.. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Personality and Individual Differences, 2019, 144, pp. 111-119, doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2019.02.032

Language

English

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