Anger, Hostility, Big Five
Anger, Hostility, and the Big Five Personality Model
The article entitled “Anger and hostility from the perspective of the Big Five personality model” is one of a series of studies conducted on the (AHA) Syndrome. In these studies, the Big Five personality model is used to help differentiate between the traits of anger and hostility in relationship to aggression. This particular study takes this trend further by attempting to rationalize some of the methodological problems involved; and by expanding the study to include a more detailed examination of the trait of hostility.
This study attempts to differentiate between anger and hostility in relation to the Big Five personality model. However, while this had been attempted before, there are some problems with the previous studies which the authors feel need to be resolved. First of all they note a problem with overlapping content in the questionnaire used in the study which cause some of the result to appear somewhat contradictory. Secondly, this study goes further than previous studies by not only studying hostility, but studying two specific aspects of hostility: 1. cynicism/mistrust and 2. Opposition/mistrust. Finally, the authors point out that the “The analysis of the relationship between the Big Five and trait anger should control the specific effect of hostility, and likewise, the analysis of the relationship between the Big Five and hostility should control the specific effect of trait anger.”(1) Without these relationships, it is extremely difficult to specifically determine the influence of the Big Five model on the specific differences involved in anger and hostility. The authors then assert that they expected that “beyond the influence of trait anger (or hostility), the Big Five would explain a significant percentage of the individual differences in hostility (or trait anger).”(1)
This study consisted of 358 adult subjects, recruited from the friends and family of students, who were given the NEO-PI-R and the STAXI-2 personality assessment questionnaire specifically designed to determine the relationship between the traits of anger and hostility and that of the Big Five personality model. As the authors state, their intention was to “determine the relationships of the personality dimensions of the Big Five with trait anger and two specific traits of hostility.”(1) They also wanted to see if they could find similarities and differences between the two traits of anger and hostility within the definition of the Big Five. Their results indicate that there is indeed a relationship between the trait of anger, the two specific traits of hostility, and the Big Five personality model. The authors assert that this can explain a significant portion of the differences between individuals when it comes to anger, mistrust, and opposition above the accepted relationships as part of the . Their adjustment of the assessment also takes away the problem with the overlapping content between neuroticism and agreeableness in the by reducing its influence variance from a predicted 37-46% down to only 16-18%.
One of the most personally interesting aspects of this study is the difference between the traits of anger and hostility. The authors seem to assert that anger is more of an affinitive-subjective emotion where the length and intensity of the anger increases over time, while hostility is defined as anger that is translated into a more cognitive, or behavioral action. Anger can be intensive and powerful, but rarely lasts over long periods of time, but hostility requires a pattern of negative behavior. Another interesting aspect of the study was the relationship between the specific Big Five personality model components and the traits of anger and hostility. The authors determined that the trait of anger was mostly related to the Big Five component of neuroticism, while the two traits of hostility, mistrust and confrontation attitude, were mostly related to the component of low agreeableness. The trait of mistrust was also found to have a relationship with the component of low extraversion, especially in males. People, particularly males, who are cynical and demonstrate suspicion and mistrust of others, generally are “without joy, reserved, independent, nor very friendly, impersonal, and
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