When you think of a person covered in tattoos, you probably think of a total bada*s. But now, one study suggests that that bada*s is probably an angry one. Yes, you read that right. Research indicates that people who have tattoos report higher levels of verbal aggression and reactive rebelliousness, according to The Guardian. In other words? The more ink someone has, the angrier they probably are. Read on below to find out more.
The findings. Research has discovered that people with tattoos report higher levels of verbal aggression, anger, and rebelliousness, according to The Guardian. What’s more, the study also found that the more tattoos a person has, the more angry and rebellious they are likely to be.
Bringing back the stereotype. Though the stereotype of “the tattooed rebel” was long thought to be outdated, the study’s findings seem to be turning things back around. Well, sort of. Anyway, let’s get into the actual study, shall we?
The research.The study’s findings ultimately restored the link between ink and anger, according to The Guardian. In research carried out in the UK, Professor Viren Swami, of Anglia Ruskin University, asked 378 adults to report the number of tattoos they had.
Afterward, volunteers were questioned on four dispositional traits of aggression, including physical and verbal aggression, anger, and hostility. This part of the study included asking the participants to assess how much they agreed with statements like: “Given enough provocation, I may hit someone.”
Rebelliousness. As The Guardian noted, rebelliousness was assessed in two distinct areas during the study: “proactive, which is active pursuit of rebellious activities for the sake of excitement,” the British publication explained, “and reactive, the tendency to commit unpremeditated acts in response to disappointment or frustration.”
Questions for proactive included: “If you are asked particularly not to do something, do you feel an urge to do?” Meanwhile, questions for reactive included: “If you get yelled at by someone in authority, would you (a) get angry and argue back; (b) try hard to avoid an argument; or (c) not sure?”
The findings. After crunching some numbers, the researchers found that inked-up adults had significantly higher reactive rebelliousness compared with their unmarked counterparts. Additionally, they discovered that “those with tattoos scored more highly in verbal aggression and anger, although not in the other two traits of aggression,” according to The Guardian.
What’s more, the researchers also found that women reported higher levels of all those characteristics than men. So, did the scientists have any possibly explanation for the findings? Yes and no.
Possible explanations. “One explanation is that people who have higher reactive rebelliousness may respond to disappointing and frustrating events by getting tattooed,” Swami said, according to The Guardian. “That is, when these individuals experience a negative emotional event, they may be more likely to react by pursuing an act that is seen as defiant. The act of tattooing is perceived as rebellious, or more generally tattoos themselves can signify defiance or dissent.”
“On the other hand, there were no significant differences between tattooed and non-tattooed adults in proactive rebelliousness,” Swami continued. “It is possible that this form of rebelliousness, which is hedonistic and goal-driven, is at odds with the pain and permanence of tattoos.” He added: “We also found that tattooed adults had higher aggression scores on two of the four dimensions of aggression that we measured, namely verbal aggression and anger.”
Eroding differences. However, the report further noted: “It has been suggested that the contemporary mainstreaming of tattooing is eroding differences between tattooed and non-tattooed adults. Certainly, the present data would seem to support such an interpretation: just over a quarter of our sample had at least one tattoo and tattooed and non-tattooed respondents did not appear to vary in terms of basic demographics.”
Tattoos and self-esteem. In the past, research has found that tattoos increase self-esteem, according to Refinery 29. For this study, researchers surveyed over 2,000 college students from six universities and asked them about the number of tattoos they have, as well as their levels of depression and self-esteem.
The findings. Additionally, the participants were asked whether they had ever thought about — or attempted — suicide. So, what’d the findings show? The researchers discovered that for women, self-esteem went up as the number of tattoos went up.
Paradoxically, however, as the women’s self-esteem went up, so did their reported levels of depression. “And women with higher numbers of tattoos were also more likely to have attempted suicide,” according to Refinery 29. “In particular, the rate of suicide attempts in women with at least four tattoos was four times higher than that of women with no tattoos.”
Healing trauma. Though the researchers weren’t quite whether the ink itself was responsible for the boost in self-esteem, the authors behind the study believe women might be using tattoos to heal trauma. “Just as breast cancer survivors and abuse victims acquire tattoos and piercings to restore physical losses,” the authors explained, “we think the women in our study may be trying to restore emotional losses with more tattoos.”
By Michelle Soriano
Source: Rebel circus