Gender Differences in Reporting Anger and Social Desirability Bias

Date
2019
Authors
Cox, Sydney Joelle
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Abstract

The purpose of the current study was to update and build on previous research on gender differences in anger expression and to examine whether these gender differences were mediated by social desirability bias (SDB). Previous outdated research has focused on gender differences in anger experience. More recent research has turned its attention to gender differences in anger expression. Another aspect under focus is the effect of SDB on gender differences in anger expression. The study proposed that there would be gender differences in anger expression and these differences would be mediated by SDB due to previous relationships between SDB and anger and SDB and gender. Two hundred and sixty-two psychology students were given anger experience, anger expression, and SDB psychological scales. There were no significant gender differences in anger experience but there were significant gender differences in anger expression. There was an inverse relationship between anger and SDB scores. Males scored significantly higher than females on SDB measures. There were no gender differences when SDB was controlled for. Thus, mediations did find SDB was a significant mediator for some dimensions of anger experience and expression. Gender differences are more prominent in anger expression and there are significant efforts to appear socially desirable when reporting anger. Furthermore, SDB could explain why gender differences in reporting anger expression occur.

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Keywords
anger experience, anger expression, gender differences, social desirability bias
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Department
Psychology