We discussed earlier in the chapter the idea that an individual might feel too little anger. Although such experiences are theoretically interesting and, in some cases, can be regarded as pathological, the essence of the so-called anger disorders is really about too much anger or anger that is inappropriate (DiGiuseppe & Tafrate, 2007). In this section we consider these reactions and also the case of morbid jealousy.
Anger can slide down the slippery slope from order to disorder in a number of ways. First, individuals can become angry at events in a way that most of society would regard as inappropriate. Second, anger can be directed at or displaced onto inappropriate agents. Third, anger can be an appropriate reaction to the circumstances while being excessive in its intensity. Finally, anger can be extrinsically motivated. We consider each of these possibilities in turn. However, the common feature of anger disorders is the excessive expression of aggression. As we have noted above, excessive expressions of aggression are not invariably a consequence of anger but can also occur for other reasons (e.g., see Blair et al., 2005). Aggression can also be expressed on an individual basis or by groups as in crowd violence, with the ultimate expressions of aggression being wars (Beck, 1999). And just as wars aren't always motivated by reasons of anger or hatred but can be expressions of dominance-subordination, of ideology, of revenge, or whatever (e.g., Rosen, 2004), so we can be clear that individual motivations behind aggression are equally varied. With that caveat in mind, we now consider disorders of anger.
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