Duhaime's Law Dictionary


STAXI, State Trait Anger Expression Inventory Definition:

A psychological test which measures the intensity of anger in an individual and the disposition to experience angry feelings.

A psychological test designed to measure an individual's experience, expression and control of anger.

A tool of psychological assessment which seeks the readiness on the part of the individual to resort to expressions of anger under a variety of conditions, and how prevalent anger is in the responder's life.

The original STAXI test was developed by C. D. Spielberger in 1994 and was published as STAXI-2 in 1994.

The STAXI assessments presents scores on six scales such as Trait Anger, Anger Expression-Out, Anger Expression-In, Anger Control-Out, Anger Control-In, and State Anger.

The test was developed for two primary reasons:

  • Assess components of anger for detailed evaluations of normal and abnormal personality, and
  • Provide a means of measuring the contributions of various components of anger to the development of medical conditions.

In the STAXI-2 test (the latest version), anger is taken as having two major components:

  • State anger which is defined as the psychobiological emotional state or condition marked by suggestive feelings that vary in intensity from mild irritation or annoyance to intense fury and rage; and
  • Trait anger which defined in terms of individual differences in the disposition to perceive a wide range of situations as annoying or frustrating and by the tendency to respond to such situations with elevations in state anger.

The STAXI-2 consists of six scales, five subscales, and an Anger Expression Index which provides an overall measure of the expression and control of anger.

The STAXI test can be administered to anyone sixteen years of age and older and is considered to require a six-grade reading level to complete the test.

The test is not generally used as a stand-alone test. The results have to be evaluated within the context of the other information available about this individual.

According to the publisher of the STAXI-2 test:

"The STAXI-2 State Anger scale assesses the intensity of anger as an emotional state at a particular time. The Trait Anger scale measures how often angry feelings are experienced over time. The Anger Expression and Anger Control scales assess four relatively independent anger-related traits: • expression of anger toward other persons or objects in the environment (Anger Expression-Out); • holding in or suppressing angry feelings (Anger Expression-In); • controlling angry feelings by preventing the expression of anger toward other persons or objects in the environment (Anger Control-Out); and • controlling suppressed angry feelings by calming down or cooling off (Anger Control-In).

"Individuals rate themselves on 4-point scales that assess both the intensity of their anger at a particular time and the frequency that anger is experienced, expressed, and controlled."

See also the related psychological tests MMPI and MCMI.

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