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Ranting on Websites May Just Make You Angrier
Date:3/22/2013

ine is caused by a sense of powerlessness and a feeling that they just can't make a difference, Martin said. A third study he did related to the published research looked at the content of rant sites and found that "people are angry at big groups of people: Democrats, Republicans, illegal immigrants," he said. "People want to feel they're doing something and think just expressing their feelings to the world will help."

Martin said venting has been described as putting a fire out with gasoline. But it's not actually the anger that's detrimental, according to the researchers. "There is nothing wrong with being angry and there are lots of things to be angry about, and that is healthy," said Martin. But he added that a healthier and more effective approach is to get involved and do something to effect the kind of change you want, or focus on problem solving.

For the first study, the researchers posted an online survey on four popular rant sites, promising a chance at a $50 gift card for participating. The survey assessed how angry the participants tended to be and how they expressed their anger, as well as consequences they've experienced due to their anger-related behavior.

Participants aged between 14 and 54, including 11 females and 21 males, visited the rant site one to three times a month on average -- but some checked in much more often, even daily. An average visit lasted for between 11 and 15 minutes.

Participants also answered questions about why they visit the site and how they feel after ranting. The majority said they visit sites out of curiosity (about 78 percent). Of the 75 percent of participants who post rants, all said they usually feel calm and relaxed after ranting. Most people said they were looking for validation of how they were feeling from other people's responses to their rants.

The second study tapped students in introductory college psychology courses who earned course credit for participating. The average
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