• Question: Does being angry make you stronger or faster?

    Asked by giggle1234 to Mark U on 19 Jun 2012.
    • Photo: Mark Uphill

      Mark Uphill answered on 19 Jun 2012:

      Super question giggle1234! There’s some evidence to say that anger can help performance in contact sports (e.g., karate, or rugby). Some of my own research suggests that anger impairs performance in university basketball players. Much research doesn’t examine the influence of emotion on performance in competition because it’s difficult! How do you know if someone’s feeling emotion, and what might that do to performers who are asked to report it for example? For me, I would say that there isn’t a DIRECT link between emotion and performance; it could depend on the intensity of the anger, how long it lasts for and what athletes do to regulate their anger. Some research suggests that trying to suppress (or downplay) anger can make you more angry! Besides the influence of anger, you could also ask the same of happiness? Does being happy make you perform better for instance? We actually don’t have good answers to the question of why do a range of emotions infleunce performance… some future research for you maybe….?