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April 1960

An Experimental Study of Suppressed Anger and Blood Pressure

Author Affiliations

From the Institute for Psychosomatic and Psychiatric Research and Training, Michael Reese Hospital.

AMA Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1960;2(4):441-456. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1960.03590100081009

I. Introduction  The responsiveness of the cardiovascular system to stress and emotional arousal has been a well-known phenomenon since the classic researches of Cannon. Subsequent studies tended to view stress as a nonspecific threat and did not relate physiological responses to a particular affect evoked or investigate the personalized meanings of the stimulus to the subject. Later researches have indicated that physiological responses could be understood better in terms of the relevance of the stress to the individual.25 Yet, even here little attention has been paid to the specific quality and quantity of the concomitant affective state.The present study attempts to clarify relationships between specific affective and physiological responses to psychological stress, utilizing quantitative estimates of each. Our major focus is on anger, especially suppressed anger, and on the relation of these feeling states to blood pressure and heart rate. A technique

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