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Various forms of existential distress are associated with aggressive tendencies

van Tilburg, Wijnand AP and Igou, Eric R and Maher, Paul J and Lennon, Joseph (2019) 'Various forms of existential distress are associated with aggressive tendencies.' Personality and Individual Differences, 144. pp. 111-119. ISSN 0191-8869

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We propose that aggressive tendencies are more (vs. less) pronounced among people who frequently (vs. less frequently) experience challenges to their perceived meaning in life. We tested this hypothesis for three different forms of existential distress: loneliness, boredom, and disillusionment. The results of Study 1 confirm that loneliness is associated with aggressive tendencies and that this positive association can be partly attributed to the search for meaning that comes with loneliness. The results of Study 2 indicate that meaning search plays a similar role in the relationship between boredom proneness and aggressive tendencies. Finally, the results of Study 3 indicate that the more often people feel disillusioned, the more pronounced their aggressive tendencies are, and this association is again partly attributable to meaning search. These findings suggest that aggressive tendencies have roots in existential distress and in the motivation to find meaning in life.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aggression; Loneliness; Boredom; Disillusionment; Meaning
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2019 16:03
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 10:31

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