Typically, anger is caused by a negative event that someone or something else is responsible for. If we were responsible we would experience shame or guilt instead. If the cause were unknown, we would experience fear or anxiety. But if we have a target cause of the negative event, we feel anger.
Anger has different effects on judgment and decision making than do other negative emotions. Anger influences how we perceive, reason, and choose. Its effects spill over from the initial cause to other things we’re doing, affecting how we respond to situations that have no bearing on the thing that initially made us angry.
Use humor to deflect anger: If you mess up in a small way, convey your apology with humor to defuse the situation. However, for bigger issues or if you anticipate an angry response, use a calming and respectful tone instead.
Avoid overt anger with a slippery slope: Start small, and avoid a backlash by making several small sequential changes rather than one large one. If individual changes are sufficiently inoffensive, users won’t become irate enough to revolt.
Use metaphysical arguments to beat opponents: When appeals to rational thought fail, side-step logic and use metaphysical constructs in your arguments. Claim to have something that science can’t explain.
Use anonymity to encourage repressed behaviors: People will do more whey they’re anonymous than when they’re identifiable.
Give people permission: If an authority figure tells people to do something, it removes individual responsibility.
Scare people (if you have the solution): Make people afraid, then show them how to remove that fear using your product.
There’s obviously a difference between blind rage, brooding sullenness, and the type of controlled anger that you can provide an outlet for. You must elicit the right level of anger, complete with an obvious target. Presenting a problem with an unknown cause creates fear, a problem with a more global cause that is not under the individual’s control invokes sadness, and a problem for which the individual is responsible gives feelings of guilt or shame.
You must also show how individuals can influence the situation to remove the cause of their anger. Angry people are much more likely to want to change the situation than are people experiencing other negative emotions. Unlike other negative emotions, which tend to cause more introspection and insightful analysis, anger makes people fall back on their existing behavior patterns, tends to stereotype their perceptions of others, and focuses on superficial characteristics of individuals rather than the quality of their arguments. As a result, because they aren’t processing deeply, angry people feel more certain about the choices they make.
Maybe the type of anger companies hope to induce shouldn’t be classed as a sin. Its effects are closer to positive emotions than negative ones. Even though people look back on angry times as unpleasant and unrewarding, when they are in the throes of anger, they find it pleasant and rewarding, perhaps because they are anticipating revenge or Schadenfreude (the joy of seeing disliked others suffer).