An old song goes something like: shout, shout, let it all out. Well, it’s not rocket science that bottling up negative emotions is rather unhealthy. 

And yet there are some anger management programs which tell you not to get angry when you’re actually… angry. There must be something wrong with them. What is it?

Check out: The Fatal Flaw with Anger Management Programs




  • C-level – denoting the executive level of a corporation
  • eradicate – destroy completely; put an end to
  • bout – a short period of intense activity of a specified kind
  • backfire – (of a plan or action) rebound adversely on the originator; have the opposite effect to what was intended
  • pending – about to happen; imminent
  • bupkis – nothing at all
  • inducement – a thing that persuades or influences someone to do something
  • fib – tell an unimportant lie

Think about it

Answer the questions below.

  • What is the primary goal of “anger management” programs?
  • Why legislating good behavior isn’t effective in the long run?
  • In what respect are adults quite similar to toddlers?
  • Describe Leon Festinger’s research and its conclusions.
  • What, according to the author, are the best ways of creating well-socialized people?

Practice makes perfect

Replace the words and expressions in bold with those from the original article.

It turns out that adults are, on this point, not much different from toddlers: Force a kid to do something, and he’ll resist. Psychologist Leon Festinger, working in the mid-1950’s, began the formal study of how we start to feel what we feel in what is known as cognitive dissonance research. He might as well have call his research, “If you coerce people to obey, they never internalize attitudes consistent with their actions.” Festinger exposed volunteer subjects to two experimental conditions in his studies. Both groups were given grueling tasks — for instance, sorting spools of thread — and then asked to tell a waiting subject who would be tested after they were finished (actually a confederate of the experimenters’) that the task was enjoyable, stimulating, fun, and suchlike. Half of the subjects were paid $20.00 — a fortune in 1956 — to support a standpoint they did not believe, while the other half of the subjects were given only $1.00 -then, as now, nothing.


Bonus task: Find a grammar mistake in the paragraph above. Tip: Think past participle!


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