Anger can be useful when facing a challenge, study says
Newswise — WASHINGTON — While often perceived as a negative emotion, anger can also be a powerful motivator for people to achieve challenging goals in their lives, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
“People often believe that a state of happiness is ideal, and the majority of people consider the pursuit of happiness a major life goal,” said lead author Heather Lench, PhD, a professor in the department of psychological and brain sciences at Texas A&M University. “The view that positive emotion is ideal for mental health and well-being has been prominent in lay and psychological accounts of emotion, but previous research suggests that a mix of emotions, including negative emotions like anger, result in the best outcomes.”
The functionalist theory of emotion, which has been studied for decades, suggests that all emotions, good or bad, are reactions to events within a person’s environment and serve the purpose of alerting that person to important situations that require actions, according to Lench. Each emotion may call for a different response. For example, sadness may indicate that a person needs to seek help or emotional support, while anger may suggest they need to take action to overcome an obstacle.
To better understand the role of anger in achieving goals, researchers conducted a series of experiments involving more than 1,000 participants and analyzed survey data from more than 1,400 respondents. In each experiment, researchers elicited either an emotional response (such as anger, amusement, desire or sadness) or a neutral emotional state, and then presented participants with a challenging goal.
The research was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
In one experiment, participants were shown visuals designed to elicit specific emotional or neutral responses and then asked to solve a series of word puzzles. In another, the goal was to attain high scores on a skiing video game, with one game that involved challenging play (avoiding flags on a slalom course) and one easier game that involved only a jump.
Across all the experiments, anger improved people’s ability to reach their goals compared with a neutral condition in a variety of challenging situations. In some cases, it was associated with increased scores or shorter response times. In one experiment, it also increased cheating to achieve a better outcome.
The researchers also analyzed data from a series of surveys collected during the 2016 and 2020 U.S. presidential elections. Before the elections, people were asked to rate how angry they would be if their favorite candidate did not win. After the elections, they reported whether they voted and whom they voted for. Survey participants who indicated they would be angry if their candidate did not win were more likely to vote in the election, but anger had no effect on which candidate they voted for.
“These findings demonstrate that anger increases effort toward attaining a desired goal, frequently resulting in greater success,” said Lench.
The effects of anger in spurring people to reach for and frequently achieve their goals were specific to situations where the goals were more challenging, according to Lench. Anger did not appear to be associated with reaching goals when the goals were easier, such as in the ski-jump video game.
Lench also noted that while anger was associated with increased success across the board, in some cases, amusement or desire were also associated with increased goal attainment.
The results suggest that emotions that are often considered negative – such as anger, boredom or sadness – can be useful, according to Lench.
“People often prefer to use positive emotions as tools more than negative and tend to see negative emotions as undesirable and maladaptive,” she said. “Our research adds to the growing evidence that a mix of positive and negative emotions promotes well-being, and that using negative emotions as tools can be particularly effective in some situations.”
Article: “Anger has Benefits for Attaining Goals,” by Heather Lench, PhD, Noah Reed, BA, Tiffany George, PhD, Kaitlyn Kaiser, BA, and Sophie North, BS, Texas A&M University. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published online Oct. 30, 2023.
The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA’s membership includes over 146,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people’s lives
8 Smart Ways to Save On Holiday Expenses
(Family Features) While often regarded as the most wonderful time of year, the holiday season is also an expensive spot on the calendar. Even as many families feel the squeeze of inflation and rising costs, there is hope for your budget when it comes to gatherings, gifts, food and beyond.
Consider these tips from the money-saving experts at Slickdeals and Head of Deals Vitaly Pecharsky to avoid overspending without sacrificing your festive spirit.
Stick to a budget. Beyond gifts and stocking stuffers, holiday costs can add up quickly once you factor in travel, decor, pet care, special events and more. Create an all-encompassing budget for the season then break it into segments for each type of expense, including hidden expenses like wrapping paper or extra toiletries for guests, so you don’t end up with an unexpected credit card bill.
Split up food costs. Instead of putting yourself under the pressure of full-time holiday chef (and taking on all the expenses that come with it), consider hosting a potluck-style gathering. Providing the main course and encouraging guests to bring an appetizer, side or dessert is an easy way to avoid a hefty hosting bill. Send an e-vite with a list of must-haves that allows loved ones to sign up for specific dishes to ensure everything is covered without doubling up.
Search for the best deals. Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift from toys to technology or trying to save on travel costs and home decor, make sure you find the best price. Consider a site like Slickdeals, where a community of millions of people work together to save money so you can be confident you’re getting the best deal. With 12 million shoppers assisting others by vetting and voting up the top deals from renowned retailers, your holiday needs are covered without sacrificing quality. You can also set Deal Alerts that send notifications directly to your inbox when a deal that matches your criteria is posted to the site.
Share experiences, not just “things.” Gadgets and gizmos may come to mind when brainstorming holiday gift ideas but remember some family members and friends just want more time together. If you’re considering a special experience for – and with – that special someone, think about their favorite hobbies and activities. Animal lovers may be overjoyed with a day at the local zoo and gearheads would cherish tickets to the next auto show. Integrating experiences into your gifting repertoire often makes for a more memorable (and cheaper) solution.
Take advantage of gift cards. A quick internet search can lead you to discounted gift cards, allowing you to save cash on holiday purchases. Or, for the one on your list who has everything, simply give the card as a gift so he or she can pick out what’s truly needed. As an added bonus, discounted gift cards are typically available even at the last minute so procrastinators can still save.
Show off your DIY skills. Buying new holiday decorations and replacing worn out crafts are seasonal expenses you may not immediately factor into your budget. Rather than heading to the store for (likely overpriced) ornaments and tablescapes, put your creative cap on and repurpose goods from around the house. Reusing items like glass jars to make homemade snow globes, for example, can be a crafty way to save. Plus, it’s a fun activity for family members to enjoy together.
Seek out post-holiday sales. Once the holidays are over, it’s a perfect opportunity to get ahead of the game for next year. Stock up on gift wrap, decorative items and other nonperishables that are often heavily discounted in the new year.
Save throughout the year. A handy tip for holiday seasons to come, try creating a fund each year where you can save up for gifts, food, travel and other end-of-year expenses. Set up a special bank account specifically for holiday savings where you contribute a small amount each month to be financially prepared for the festivities.
Find more ways to save this holiday season by visiting Slickdeals.com.
Photos courtesy of Shutterstock
U.S. News & World Report Unveils the 2024 Best Places to Retire Rankings
Pennsylvania sweeps the top five as Harrisburg, PA, rises to No. 1 this year.
WASHINGTON /PRNewswire/ — U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in rankings and consumer advice, today unveiled the 2024 Best Places to Retire in the United States. This year’s list evaluated the country’s 150 most populous metropolitan areas based on how well they meet Americans’ expectations for retirement, with measures including Affordability, Health Care, Desirability, Retiree Taxes, Job Market and Overall Happiness. The results are three new places in the top five.
Pennsylvania dominated the top five in this year’s list and secured seven placements in the top 10. Harrisburg rose one spot to take the No. 1 rank due to its scores on health care for seniors, retiree tax rates and overall happiness of its residents. Reading moved up six positions to the No. 2 spot, and Lancaster fell from No. 1 last year to No. 3. Scranton saw the sole double-digit jump into the top five, rising 13 positions to No. 4, and Allentown climbed four positions to No. 5.
“Over the last year, Americans have observed record-high interest rates in the housing market, steadily increasing cost of goods and extreme weather patterns impacting the living conditions of our nation,” says Beverly Harzog, personal finance expert at U.S. News. “As retirees consider where to spend their golden years, they want areas that not only give them the best bang for their buck, but places where they can live a happy, healthy life. This is why Pennsylvania dominated the Best Places to Retire ranking’s top positions, taking seven of the top 10 spots on the list.”
Florida scored highly as a desirable place to retire, with six places appearing in the top 25. The 2024 ranking’s adjustments made for affordability and retiree taxes allowed Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to soar 19 spots to No. 17. Other notable top 25 increases include Trenton, New Jersey, which moved up 25 positions to No. 20, and Rochester, New York, which rose 29 positions to No. 21.
Affordability is the most heavily weighted of the six factors in the 2024 Best Places to Retire methodology, which also includes happiness, health care quality, retiree taxes, desirability and job market ratings. U.S. News expanded its data points in this edition to better encapsulate a place’s strengths and weaknesses. In addition to a survey to determine whether people want to retire in a given metro area, the Desirability Index now includes weather temperateness, which evaluates the number of days annually with moderate temperatures and minimal precipitation. It also includes an establishment-to-population ratio, which assesses the number of restaurants, bars and activities per 1,000 residents. The Affordability Index – which previously focused solely on housing affordability – now factors in price parity, a Bureau of Economic Analysis data point on the general cost of goods within an area.
The six measures factored into this year’s rankings were weighted based on a public survey of individuals across the U.S. who are at or approaching retirement age (45 and older) to find out what matters most to people when they’re considering where to retire. Data sources include the U.S. Census Bureau, FEMA National Risk Index, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Sharecare and U.S. News’ Best Hospitals rankings.
Best Places to Retire is part of U.S. News’ expanding Real Estate section, which provides rankings, tools and advice to help individuals navigate the housing market, from finding the right neighborhood and home value estimate to working with an agent and buying and selling a home.
2024 U.S. News Best Places to Retire – Top 10
*See the full rankings here.
- Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
- Reading, Pennsylvania
- Lancaster, Pennsylvania
- Scranton, Pennsylvania
- Allentown, Pennsylvania
- New York City, New York
- York, Pennsylvania
- Daytona Beach, Florida
- Youngstown, Ohio
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
About U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report is the global leader in quality rankings that empower consumers, business leaders and policy officials to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives and communities. A multifaceted digital media company with Education, Health, Money, Travel, Cars, News, Real Estate, Careers and 360 Reviews platforms, U.S. News provides rankings, independent reporting, data journalism, consumer advice and U.S. News Live events. More than 40 million people visit USNews.com each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
SOURCE U.S. News & World Report, L.P.
PulteGroup expands Northeast Florida presence with announcement of two new communities in northern St. Johns County
The company announces new Del Webb and Pulte Homes communities
ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. /PRNewswire/ — The Northeast Florida Division of PulteGroup, one of the nation’s leading home builders, has purchased 963 acres in St. Johns County to develop The Landings, a master-planned development that will feature Del Webb and Pulte Homes. The new residential development will be located south of Greenbriar Road and west of Longleaf Pine Parkway in northern St. Johns County.
“We are pleased to build upon our presence in St. Johns County and excited to meet the growing demand for housing,” said Justin Cook, President of PulteGroup’s Northeast Florida Division. “St. Johns County is an extremely popular and thriving area, and it ranks among the most sought-after areas for homebuyers.”
PulteGroup closed on the property in October 2023 and construction is already underway. The master-planned development is expected to open in 2025 with consumer inspired floorplans from two of its signature brands as follows:
Del Webb, the nation’s leading builder of active adult communities for those 55 and older, will develop Del Webb St. Johns to include up to 761 home sites accommodating single-family floor plans with open concept living areas that are perfect for hosting family and entertaining. Del Webb St. Johns residents will enjoy an active adult lifestyle with a variety of amenities including an amenity center designed for group activities and gatherings, a resort style pool, pickleball courts, and more. PulteGroup is actively selling in three additional popular age-restricted Del Webb communities in Northeast Florida. The communities, which offer active-adult living and an array of amenities, include Del Webb Wildlight, Del Webb eTown and Del Webb Nocatee.
Pulte Homes will develop The Landings which will be designed for families of all ages and will include up to 588 home sites. Pulte will offer one- and two-story floor plans and residents will enjoy an array of amenities. Nearly half of The Landings has been planned with open space including more than 50 acres of preservation areas and 15 acres of parks. The Landings is zoned for A-rated schools in the St. Johns County Public School District and is a short drive from shopping, dining, entertainment, outdoor recreation and more.
Those interested in Del Webb St. Johns or The Landings by Pulte Homes are encouraged to join the VIP List for updates and to be among the first to know of upcoming announcements. For more information, call (904) 604-7254 or visit www.pulte.com/jacksonville.
About Pulte Homes
Pulte Homes is a national brand of PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM). Pulte Homes builds consumer inspired homes and communities that provide the move-up buyer the best quality of life. Only Pulte Homes offers the combination of innovative Life Tested Home Designs® with an unwavering commitment to quality and attention to detail. For more information about Pulte Homes, visit pulte.com.
About Del Webb
Del Webb is a national brand of PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM). Del Webb is the pioneer in active adult communities and America’s leading builder of new homes designed for pre-retirement and retirees. Del Webb builds consumer inspired homes and communities for active adults ages 55+ who want to continue to explore, grow and learn, socially, physically and intellectually as they look forward to retirement. For more information on Del Webb, visit delwebb.com.
PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM), based in Atlanta, Georgia, is one of America’s largest homebuilding companies with operations in more than 40 markets throughout the country. Through its brand portfolio that includes Centex, Pulte Homes, Del Webb, DiVosta Homes, American West and John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, the company is one of the industry’s most versatile homebuilders able to meet the needs of multiple buyer groups and respond to changing consumer demand. PulteGroup’s purpose is building incredible places where people can live their dreams.
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