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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Doug Matheson

First Committee Member

Gary Howells

Second Committee Member

Steve Solari


For potential violent offenders, learning self-control is an important step in stopping the cycle of anger, violence, and incarceration. The present study sought to train the participants to decrease muscle tension (i.e., relax) while "thinking angry thoughts." The participants consisted of 36 males who were incarcerated for various legal offenses. The treatment was expected to result in decreases in EMG levels and anger, as measured by psychological testing and behavioral data. The analysis of variance for a split-plot factorial design revealed no significant differences in EMG levels. The before-after two group design revealed no significant differences in anger or related behavior. The data obtained do not support the hypothesis that "anger and behaviors related to anger will decrease when 'angry thoughts' are paired with relaxation." However, it is suspected that with significant decreases in EMG levels, and more emphasis on producing anger in the participants, a replication might yield significant results.



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