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Sweetened blood cools hot tempers: Physiological self-control and aggression

Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, Kastle Hall, Lexington, USA.
Aggressive Behavior (Impact Factor: 2.27). 01/2011; 37(1):73-80. DOI: 10.1002/ab.20366
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Aggressive and violent behaviors are restrained by self-control. Self-control consumes a lot of glucose in the brain, suggesting that low glucose and poor glucose metabolism are linked to aggression and violence. Four studies tested this hypothesis. Study 1 found that participants who consumed a glucose beverage behaved less aggressively than did participants who consumed a placebo beverage. Study 2 found an indirect relationship between diabetes (a disorder marked by low glucose levels and poor glucose metabolism) and aggressiveness through low self-control. Study 3 found that states with high diabetes rates also had high violent crime rates. Study 4 found that countries with high rates of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (a metabolic disorder related to low glucose levels) also had higher killings rates, both war related and non-war related. All four studies suggest that a spoonful of sugar helps aggressive and violent behaviors go down.

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Available from: Brad J Bushman, Jan 06, 2014
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    • "Diabetes is a disorder characterized by the inability to metabolize glucose. Previous research has shown that diabetic symptoms are positively related to aggression (DeWall et al., 2010a), and negatively related to forgiveness (DeWall, Pond, & Bushman, 2010b). "
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    • "Diabetes is a disorder characterized by the inability to metabolize glucose. Previous research has shown that diabetic symptoms are positively related to aggression (DeWall et al., 2010a), and negatively related to forgiveness (DeWall, Pond, & Bushman, 2010b). "
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