Phd Defence – Lotte Veenstra


Our lab member, Lotte Veenstra will be defending her Phd thesis on October 6, 2017, 11.45 am, at Aula, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.



Thesis Title: Taming Tempers: A situated motivational approach to anger management.

Supervisors: Prof. Sander L. Koole, co-promotor: Dr. Iris K. Schneider.

Type of funding: Funding for the studies included in this thesis was provided by the National Science Foundation, USA (BCS-1348553), and a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC-2011-StG_20101124).

How likely is it that you will respond with anger when someone provokes you? The traditional answer to this question is that it depends on your level of trait anger. When you are high on trait anger, you are likely to experience angry feelings more often, more intensely, and for longer durations, than when you are low on trait anger. However, this dissertation suggests that behaviors and emotions related to personality are not necessarily consistent across situations. More specifically, this dissertation proposes that we can better understand trait anger as a situated personality disposition, which translates into anger only when it is accompanied by an increase in approach motivation. When approach motivation gets blocked, you are less likely to become angry, even when you are high on trait anger. All in all, this dissertation offers a nuanced view of the way in which our impulses to become angry or aggressive evolve and subside dynamically.

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