One of the two best predictors of success in life is self-control (the other is intelligence). Professor Brad Bushman has been studying human aggression for over 25 years. Aggression often starts when self-control stops. Bushman discusses his research on the link between low self-control and aggression. He focuses on the link between levels of glucose (blood sugar) and self-control. Glucose provides our brain with the fuel it needs to exercise self-control, including control of angry feelings and aggressive impulses. Bushman’s research shows that when people become hungry, they also tend to become angry and aggressive, captured by the term “hangry” (hungry+angry). Healthy foods like veggies, fruits, and whole grains can make people less hangry. Self-control can also be strengthened, like a muscle, through exercise.

Brad J. Bushman (Ph.D. 1989, University of Missouri) is a professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University, and a professor of communication science at the VU University, Amsterdam. He holds the Margaret Hall and Robert Randal Rinehart Chair of Mass Communication. For over 25 years he has studied the causes, consequences, and solutions to the problem of human aggression and violence. He is a member of President Obama’s committee on gun violence, and has testified before the U.S. Congress on the topic of youth violence. He has published over 170 peer-reviewed journal articles. According to Google Scholar, his articles have been cited over 25,000 times. He is ranked #2 among communication scholars cited in Google Scholar. In 2014 he received the Distinguished Lifetime Contribution to Media Psychology and Technology, American Psychological Association. His research has challenged several myths (e.g., violent media have a trivial effect on aggression, venting anger reduces aggression, violent people suffer from low self-esteem, violence and sex sell products, warning labels reduce audience size). (One of his colleagues calls him the “myth buster.”) His research has been published in the top scientific journals (e.g., Science, PNAS), and has been featured extensively in the mass media (e.g., BBC, New York Times, NPR).

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