Computer rage

Computer rage  refers to negative psychological responses due to heightened anger or frustration .  [1]  Examples of computer rage include cursing or yelling at a computer, slamming or throwing keyboards and mice, and assaulting the computer with an object or weapon.

Notable boxes

In April 2015, a Colorado man was cited for firing a gun in a residential area when he took his computer back to a shot with a 9mm pistol.  [2]  When questioned, he told the police that he had become so frustrated with his computer that he had “reached critical mass,” and stated that he had shot his computer, “the angels sung on high.”  [3]  In 2007, a German man wrote his computer in the middle of the night, startling his neighbors. German police were sympathetic and did not press charges, stating “Who did not feel like doing that?”  [4]  In 2006, the staged surveillance video ” Bad Day “, showing a man assaulting his computer at work, became a viral hiton the Internet, reaching over two million views.  [5]  Other instances of reported computer rage have been brought to their homepage by a person who has been shutting down their laptop.  [6]


In 1999, it was reported that it was more commonplace than road rage,  [7]  but in a study, it was found that reported rates of anger while reported. However, reports of anger while driving or using computers were found in other situations.  [8]

In a 2013 survey of American adults, 36% of respondents who reported experiencing computer issues, also reported that they had screamed, yelled, cursed, or physically assaulted their computers within the last six months.  [9]  In 2009, a survey was conducted with British computer users about their experiences with computers. This survey found that 54% of users reported that their computers, and 40% reported that they had violent behavior towards their computers. The survey also found that the most experienced computer users were raging three to four times a month.  [10]

Differences in types of computer science. For example, they were more likely to be physically active, while those from Yorkshire and Humberside were more likely to be at their computers.  [11]  Differences have been reported for age groups, as younger adults (18-24 years old) reported more abusive behaviors in the face of computer frustration when compared to older adults (over 35 years old).  [9]  Individuals with a computer experience in particular have been reported to experience increased feelings of anger and helplessness when it comes to computers,  [12] but other research has argued that it is the self-efficacy beliefs about computers that are predictive of computer frustration, not the amount of computer experience or use.  [13]


Computer factors

Users can experience anger and frustration for a number of reasons. American adults surveyed in 2013 reported that almost half (46%) of their computer problems were followed by malware issues (10%) and not enough memory (8%).  [14]  In another survey, users reported that email, word processors, web browsing, operating system crashes, inability to locate features, and program crashes as frequent initiators of computer frustration.  [15]  These technical issues, coupled with tight timelines, poor work progress, and failure to complete a computer task can create anger and frustration.  [10]  [13]  When this anger and frustration is over, it can turn into rage.  [16]

Psychological factors

Anger is often caused by interruptions of plans and expectations, especially through the violation of social norms .  [17]  This can be understood when they are unable to meet their goal or when they have been violated by social norms. Psychologists have argued that they are particularly relevant to computer rage, as they interact with computers in a similar way that they interact with other people  [18]  (for more information, see The Media Equation). Thus, when computers fail to function in the face of deadlines or an important task to accomplish, users can feel betrayed by the computer in the same way they can feel betrayed by other people. Specifically, when users fail to understand why they are not working properly, they often need to know the most, it can be invoked as a breach of social norms or a personal attack.  [8]  [12] Consistent with this finding, perceived betrayal by the computer can also elicit other negative emotions. One survey of US adults reported that 10% of users who experienced the experience of experienced helplessness, and 4% reported feeling victimized. In the same survey, 7% of adults aged 18-34 reported that they had been diagnosed with their computer problems within the previous six months.  [9]

Dangers and potential benefits

Computer rage can result in damaged property, physical injuries, and more psychological harm.  [16]  Some experts have suggested that venting frustrations with the computer may have some benefits, but other experts disagree. For example, the use of the drug has been suggested, but it has also been suggested that it can be used to reduce the risk of cancer.  [10]  [12]  alternatively, releasing anger on the other hand, and making individuals feel better afterwards.  [16]

Prevention and management

When experiencing computer problems that invoke frustration, some experts have called for a break from the computer for 15 minutes to “cool off.”  [19]  Other methods to prevent computer rage can be backing up computer data often,  [20]  increasing memory of the computer,  [14]  and even imagining pleasant images, such as petting an animal.  [12]  Adopting a goal of improving computer knowledge may also be beneficial to a person who is less likely to report when he or she is confronted with a problem.  [15] If computer rage can not be avoided, guidelines can be used to minimize the consequences, and may be used to reduce the likelihood of injury and loss of property.  [16]

Employers who have staff who work with computers, often in situations where time is crucial, and provides employees with anger management strategies.  [21]  Some computer technicians have reported that, to reduce computer rage, their technicians are trained on how to work with diagnose and fix technical issues.  [22]

Designing computer interfaces to display has also been suggested as a way to mitigate computer anger and rage.  [13]  The application of affective computing has been shown to effectively mitigate negative emotions connected to computer use. One study found that the user’s feelings, provided empathy , and validated reported emotional states significantly reduced negative emotions associated with computer frustration for users.  [23] Another study found that when error messages contain positive wording (“This is frustrating”) or a neutral error message, users exhibited more signs of happiness.  [24]

See also

  • Rage (emotion)
  • Air rage
  • Road rage
  • Wrap rage
  • technostress
  • The Media Equation
  • debugging
  • Hang (computing)


  1. Jump up^   Norman, Kent L. (October 21, 2004). “Computer Rage: Theory and Practice” (PDF) . Retrieved November 2, 2015 .
  2. Jump up^  “Enraged Shoots Man Computer Eight Times” .  The Huffington Post  . Retrieved 2015-11-03 .
  3. Jump up^  “Colorado man ticketed for shooting his computer; says it was worth it” .  . Retrieved 2015-11-03 .
  4. Jump up^  “Sympathetic police forgive man who threw computer out of window” .  Mail Online  . Retrieved 2015-11-10 .
  5. Jump up^  “Viral Video Breakdown | Youtube Views | Youtube Likes | Youtube Comments | Make your video viral” . 2013-07-25. Archived from the original on July 25, 2013 . Retrieved 2015-11-17 .
  6. Jump up^  “Drop the mouse and step away from the PC” .  . Retrieved 2015-11-11 .
  7. Jump up^  “Computer rage grows as millions misspent on IT” . June 17, 1999 . Retrieved November 2, 2015 .
  8. ^ Jump up to: b   Charlton, John P .; Kappas, Arvid; Swiderska, Aleksandra. “Does computing anger have social elements? A comparison with driving anger” .  Behavior & Information Technology  .  34  (3): 294-303. doi : 10.1080 / 0144929x.2014.895421 .
  9. ^ Jump up to: c   “Over A Third of Americans Confess to Verbal or Physical Abuse-Of Their Computers: The New Harris Study Reveals the Extent of Frustration, Anger and Helplessness Spurred by Computer Problems | Bulldog Reporter” .  . Retrieved 2015-11-11 .
  10. ^ Jump up to: c   ” ‘ Computer rage’ affects more than half of Britons” .  . Retrieved 2015-11-03 .
  11. Jump up^  “Computer anger: Northerners shout, Southerners lash out | ZDNet” .  ZDNet  . Retrieved 2015-11-17 .
  12. ^ Jump up to: d   “No. It’s Not OK Computer! Computer-Related Stress In The Workplace” .  . Retrieved 2015-11-03 .
  13. ^ Jump up to: c   Wilfong, Jeffery D. (2006-11-01). “Computer anxiety and anger: the impact of computer use, computer experience, and self-efficacy beliefs”.  Computers in Human Behavior  .  22  (6): 1001-1011. doi : 10.1016 / j.chb.2004.03.020 .
  14. ^ Jump up to: b   “Survey: Over A Third of Americans Confess to Verbal or Physical Abuse of Their Computers | Business Wire” .  . Retrieved 2015-11-03 .
  15. ^ Jump up to: b   Lazar, Jonathan; Jones, Adam; Hackley, Mary; Shneiderman, Ben. (December 23, 2004). “Severity and Impact of Computer User Frustration: A Comparison of Student and Workplace Users” (PDF) .  Interacting with Computers  . doi : 10.1016 / j.intcom.2005.06.001 . Retrieved November 10, 2015 .
  16. ^ Jump up to: d   Norman, Kent L. (February 16, 2005). “Computer Rage: A Student Response to Frustration with Technology” (PDF) . Retrieved November 2,2015 .
  17. Jump up^   Averill, James R. (1982).  Anger and aggression: An essay on emotion  . New York: Springer-Verlag New York. pp. XIV-402. ISBN  978-1-4612-5745-5 .
  18. Jump up^   Nass, Clifford; Moon, Youngme (2000-01-01). “Machines and Mindlessness: Social Responses to Computers” .  Journal of Social Issues  .  56  (1): 81-103. doi : 10.1111 / 0022-4537.00153 . ISSN  1540-4560 .
  19. Jump up^  “Drop the mouse and step away from the PC” .  . Retrieved 2015-11-03 .
  20. Jump up^   Davia, Joy (June 3, 2005). “Got computer rage?” Suggests safe ways to wind .  USATODAY  . Retrieved November 2, 2015 .
  21. Jump up^   Charlton, John P. (2009-11-01). “The determinants and expression of computer-related anger” .  Computers in Human Behavior  .  25  (6): 1213-1221. doi : 10.1016 / j.chb.2009.07.001 .
  22. Jump up^   Cha, Ariana Eunjung (2005-05-01). “Repair Teams Try to Calm ‘Computer Rage ‘ ” .  The Washington Post  . ISSN  0190-8286 . Retrieved 2015-11-03 .
  23. Jump up^   Klein, J .; Moon, Y .; Picard, RW (2002-02-01). “This computer responds to frustration: Theory, design, and results” .  Interacting with Computers  .  14  (2): 119-140. doi : 10.1016 / S0953-5438 (01) 00053-4 . ISSN  0953-5438 .
  24. Jump up^   Partala, Timo; Surakka, Veikko (2004-04-01). “The effects of emotional interventions in human-computer interaction” .  Interacting with Computers  .  16  (2): 295-309. doi : 10.1016 / j.intcom.2003.12.001 . ISSN  0953-5438 .

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