In detail

People who get angry easily overestimate their intelligence

People who get angry easily overestimate their intelligence

It is normal that we all get angry at times, but surely you have found that some people may have a greater tendency to anger and they seem to be always more angry and irritated, arguing and arguing before others, suggesting a certain sense of superiority. Well, according to a study published in the scientific journal Intelligence, it seems that people with a more angry character often overestimate their intelligence.

The origin of the study

This study has been carried out by scientists from the University of Western Australia and the Warsaw University and tried to find out if people with a high level of anger manifest biases in the perception of their abilities. "Anger is more oriented towards generally optimistic biases," he explained. Marcin Zajenkowski One of the authors of the study.

Scientists claim that, although the features Go to Y Neuroticism are related, some empirical research shows that each of these traits is influenced by very different processes: Meanwhile he neuroticism is associated with pessimism, the feeling of lack of control and the under narcissism, the feature Go to on the contrary a bias of optimism, higher sense of self control Y high narcissism.

This led researchers to hypothesize that when a person presents one of these two traits, anger or neuroticism, will tend to perceive their intelligence as higher or lower, respectively.

What did the results show?

Following this hypothesis, the researchers Marcin Zajenkowski and Gilles E. Gigna they conducted a study in which through questions in a questionnaire they were asked to evaluate 528 participants how often they felt angry and angry. Subsequently, participants were asked to rate if they believed they had high or low intelligence through a 25-point scale. After that, they were tested for real intelligence confirming the suspicion: the most angry people used to overestimate their level of intelligence, since, although their estimate of themselves was high, the actual results were not as high as they expected.

This overestimation is related to the association that the trait Go to has with the narcissistic illusions and the tendency to optimism, as we explained earlier. Narcissistic illusions are what make people believe that their abilities and reasoning are better than those of those around them, leading them to this overestimation bias.

However, the association between anger and neuroticism It is not so clear since, although these two traits are associated, it would be expected that neurotic people also present this overestimation of their intelligence, something that does not happen.

In fact, the neuroticism it makes people think they are less intelligent than they really are since those who scored high on this trait obtained a higher intelligence score than they previously believed. "I noticed that anger differs significantly from other negative emotions, such as sadness, anxiety or depression. Anger is more oriented towards the perception of optimistic bias," explains Marcin Zajenkowski.

It is important to note that, despite this connection found, the emotion of anger itself is not connected with the level of real intelligence, that is, it is not known if there is a cause and effect relationship between this emotion and the level of intelligence, since for this other aspects related to anger that should be done in subsequent investigations must be investigated. This means that, although statistical data has shown significantly this overestimation that angry people show about themselves, anger itself has not proven to be a factor that indicates a lower or higher level of intelligence.

In addition, it also remains to be studied if this overestimation only occurs with people who are frequently explosive in their anger, or also occurs at times of punctual anger. According to Zajenkowski, "future studies can explore whether the temporary experience of anger also leads to a skewed perception of their abilities."

Fortunately, there are scientifically proven ways to improve our self control in situations that trigger our anger. Thanks to therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy, we can train our behavior to focus on the present moment and not react impulsively to stressful events, reactions that, according to this study, seem not to allow us to perceive reality objectively.