October 5, 2012
Horton and Criminal
Justice Professor Stephen
Rice (right) published "On the Variability of Anger Cross-Culturally: An
Assessment of General Strain Theory's Primary Mediator" in the journal
Deviant Behavior (Vol. 33, Issue4). They were joined by Professors
Nicole Piquero and Alex Piquero of the University of Texas-Dallas. Horton, Rice, and their colleagues situated their findings within the
predictions of general strain theory, a prominent criminological theory that
looks at how perceived conditions within one's immediate social environment can
influence criminal activity. The researchers examined variability in the
experience of anger across cultures using data from interviews and fieldwork in
Tibetan communities of India and in the United States.
Horton has been
working in the Tibetan refugee settlements in India for more than 10 years. He
found that Tibetan culture is rooted in Mahayana Buddhist teachings, texts, and
institutions and finds little or no useful place for the human experience of
“As a psychologist, I wanted to study how deep this Tibetan
ethical rejection of anger might be,” Horton said. “Would it be apparent in
Tibetan’s people’s day to day lives and interactions? Could it be more of an
on-stage set of attitudes intended garner interest and support for their
The researchers examined the Tibetans’ experience and
understanding of anger compared to those of a sample of American adults.
"Anger, general strain theory's primary mediator, is framed as a byproduct of
personally or vicariously experienced strains or stresses,” Rice said. “Stresses
can include the failure to achieve positively valued goals, the presentation of
negative stimuli such as discrimination or violence, or the loss of positively
valued stimuli such as the death of a close intimate.”
Rice and Horton
believe understanding anger in a cultural context can help predict whether anger
will be shown to others and what the results may be when anger is displayed.
This can, in turn, provide insight into criminal behavior in diverse
of Arts and Sciences, the largest college in Seattle University, offers 42 undergraduate
majors, 37 minors, and 7 master’s degrees. The Criminal Justice Department is one of
only seven programs in United States to receive certification by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. The
department offers undergraduate degrees, a Certificate in Crime Analysis, and a
of Arts in Criminal Justice. The Psychology Department offers undergraduate
degrees and a Master
of Arts in Psychology that emphasizes the existential, phenomenological,
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