ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2021, Vol. 53 ›› Issue (8): 847-860.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2021.00847

• Reports of Empirical Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The effect of anger on malevolent creativity and strategies for its emotion regulation

CHENG Rui, LU Kelong, HAO Ning()   

  1. Shanghai Key Laboratory of Mental Health and Psychological Crisis Intervention, School of Psychology and Cognitive Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
  • Received:2020-09-08 Published:2021-08-25 Online:2021-06-25
  • Contact: HAO Ning
  • Supported by:
    Humanity and Social Science foundation of Ministry of Education of China(17YJA190007)


The current study aimed to explore the effect of anger on malevolent creativity and its underlying mechanisms and to determine whether such an effect could be modulated by strategies of emotional regulation. Experiment 1 compared the differences of malevolent creativity between individuals in anger, sadness, and neutral emotions and found that individuals in anger produced more and more novel malevolent ideas, emotional arousal, and implicit aggression mediate the effect of anger on the malevolent creative performance. Experiment 2 explored how different emotion regulation strategies (cognitive reappraisal, expressive inhibition) influenced the malevolent creative performance of angry individuals. It was found that the cognitive reappraisal group and the expression inhibition group had lower levels of malevolent creativity than the control group. Emotional arousal and implicit aggression mediated the effects of two kinds of emotion regulation strategies on malevolent creativity. These results suggest that anger promotes creativity by enhancing implicit aggression and emotional arousal, and the cognitive reappraisal and expression inhibition strategies can be used as effective strategies to weaken the malevolent creativity of the angry individuals.

Key words: malevolent creativity, anger, emotional arousal, implicit aggression, emotion regulation