A behavioral test of Horney's linkage between authenticity and aggression: people living authentically are less-likely to respond aggressively in unfair situations

Diana G. Pinto, John Maltby, Alex M. Wood, Liz Day

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study links Horney's account of human growth and neurosis to authenticity by examining aggressive responses on the point subtraction aggressive paradigm, providing the first empirical test of whether authenticity can predict objective behavior. Data from undergraduate, postgraduate, and mature students demonstrate that when controlling for age, gender, trait-anger, agreeableness, and functional dimensions of coping, individuals who measure high on authentic-living respond less aggressively to attacks and counter-attacks in unfair situations. Authentic-living uniquely accounted for 14.2% of variance in aggressive-responses (r=-37). The findings suggest that inauthenticity is a strong predictor of aggressive behavior, and therefore increasing levels of authenticity in counseling practice may reduce maladaptive levels of anger. We suggest future exploration between authenticity and models of emotional regulation will unearth the cause and effects of aggression within inauthentic individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-44
Number of pages4
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Volume52
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aggression
  • Agreeableness
  • Anger
  • Authentic-living
  • Authenticity
  • Coping
  • Neurosis
  • Point-subtraction-aggression-paradigm

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