Psychology Magazine

How to Chill on Aggression...get Blood Glucose Levels Up.

By Deric Bownds @DericBownds

Here is an interesting and quirky piece by Bushman et al. that has been languishing in my queue of potential posts for quite a while:

People are often the most aggressive against the people to whom they are closest—intimate partners. Intimate partner violence might be partly a result of poor self-control. Self-control of aggressive impulses requires energy, and much of this energy is provided by glucose derived from the food we eat. We measured glucose levels in 107 married couples over 21 days. To measure aggressive impulses, participants stuck 0–51 pins into a voodoo doll that represented their spouse each night, depending how angry they were with their spouse. To measure aggression, participants blasted their spouse with loud noise through headphones. Participants who had lower glucose levels stuck more pins into the voodoo doll and blasted their spouse with louder and longer noise blasts.
This is in line with a body of work (reviewed by Gailliot) suggesting that self-control requires and can deplete a limited energy source, glucose. A relationship between glucose utilization and aggression may be universal, it is also observed in honey bees and fruitflies (Li-Byarlay et al.)

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

Magazines