...find that exerting self control is associated with angry behavior more broadly. In particular, using a “matched-choice paradigm,” we find that after exerting self control people exhibit increased preference for anger-themed content, greater interest in faces exhibiting anger, greater endorsement of anger-framed appeals, and greater irritation to others‟ attempts to control one‟s behavior.The authors note that because the anger-related behaviors examined in their experiments are not inappropriate, they are unlikely to reflect diminished capacities of self-regulation. Three of the several possible reasons why exerting self-control might elicit (implicit) anger they list are:
Goal Frustration - primitive and evolutionary roots drive angry facial expressions and the autonomic response of facial flushing in a newborn baby when a sucking treat is removed.
Diminished sense of Autonomy - anger from the sense that one‟s sense of freedom is restricted and that one is "forced" to choose the virtuous path rather than indulgence.
Ego depletion - the state of being depleted (not having the short term goal deferred for the long term goal) makes people angry.