Author ORCID Identifier

Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Communication and Information



First Advisor

Dr. Nancy Grant Harrington


Although there is an increasing use of anger appeals in communication research, scholars have yet to fully explore the causes of anger. Anger is elicited in situations where individuals perceive that their desired goals are blocked or needs are not fulfilled (Harmon-Jones & Harmon-Jones, 2016). Using Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs model (Maslow, 1943), the current study aims to systematically review communication studies on anger appeals to synthesize and categorize the violations of goals/needs that have been studied or utilized to elicit anger. A comprehensive literature search was conducted in eight relevant databases: ProQuest Dissertation & Thesis Global, Web of Science Core Collection, Medline, Communication and Mass Media Complete, Educational Resources Information Center, PsycINFO, PubMed, and Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection. After the screening process, 32 articles were identified. I was able to obtain the stimuli from 27 articles, and these articles include 35 anger- inducing messages, which were coded in accordance with the different types of needs in Maslow’s hierarchy. The results indicate that the violations of safety needs at the first dimension (e.g., physical security and health) and second dimension (e.g., justice, fairness, and morality) are frequently used in communication studies across a variety of contexts. Detailed analyses of messages are provided. Contributions and suggestions for future studies are discussed.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Included in

Communication Commons