Annoyance

The most complete study of annoyance and its similarities to and differences from anger was performed by Averill (1982) in his series of diary studies which we referred to earlier. The participants were encouraged to keep a diary record of incidences of both anger and annoyance; in addition, participants were asked to perform a content analysis on their own diary entries. Specifically, they were asked "On the basis of these experiences [incidences of anger and annoyance], what do you believe are the main differences between anger and annoyance? If you can, list three dimensions or distinguishing features, indicating how anger differs from annoyance on each

Table 8.4 Differences between anger and annoyance

1. Anger is more likely than annoyance to be directed at another person (as opposed to an inanimate object, institution, etc.)

2. Anger occurs less frequently than annoyance

3. Anger lasts longer than annoyance

4. Anger is experienced as more difficult to control than annoyance

5. Anger is more likely than annoyance to be occasioned by an act that is appraised as unjustified; annoyance is more likely than anger to be occasioned by acts that are appraised as either justified or unavoidable

6. Anger is more often than annoyance accompanied by verbal aggression and/or expressive reactions

7. Anger is more often than annoyance motivated by a desire to get even for past wrongs and/or gain revenge for the present incident

8. Anger is more likely than annoyance to effect a change in the situation

Based on Averill's, 1982, diary records.

dimension." The results based on the first half of the study and derived from the diary records are shown in Table 8.4.

Averill summarises nine features that can be derived from these data and which capture the main differences in anger and annoyance:

Anger is a relatively more intense, interpersonal emotion, and is more likely to involve attribution of blame and desire for revenge. Anger is typically provoked by instances regarded as serious and/or personally threatening; and it is accompanied by a strong desire for direct action, this in spite of the fact that normal coping resources may seem inadequate. Moreover, since anger is cognitively and socially more complex than annoyance, it is affected differently by changes in the mood of the individual. (1982, p. 248)

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