Nonnormative events agents interpretations and appraisals implicated in anger

When the schematic models of self, world, and others differ from those that can be inferred from the diary studies discussed earlier—that is, when they are non-normative—then the generation and expression of anger in those individuals can appear abnormal. Averill calls this "anger gone awry"; to quote:

Inappropriate behaviour, especially of a violent nature, may also result from a failure of an individual to internalise appropriate regulative rules. Of course, what is considered "appropriate" in this sense depends on the group making the valuation, namely, the dominant culture. Subgroups within the culture, whilst sharing many of the norms or values that help constitute anger, may nevertheless regulate their behaviour differently. (1982, p. 336)

Detailed discussion of the rules and regulations of such subcultures may be found in Wolfgang and Ferracuti (1967) who examine the Vendetta Barbaricina in Sardinia and the Mafia in Sicily, and in Wolfgang (1979) who has worked with populations of street boys in Philadelphia. Such "anger gone awry" is clearly illustrated by the assassination scene from Pulp Fiction quoted at the start of this chapter.

In addition to the failure to adopt normative social rules in particular subgroups of society, there are individual differences in the make-up of the domains of knowledge of the world, self, and others. In their most extreme form such variations begin to take on clinical characteristics; for example, certain forms of paranoid personality disorder are likely to be characterised by appraisals of deliberation, avoidability, and negligence which fall outside the range of social normality. The so-called "psychopath" is an individual who may use combinations of reactive and instrumental aggression against others (Blair et al., 2005), who shows a failure to adopt normative rules, and shows low affective responding (Hare & Quinn, 1971).

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