<i>Schadenfreude</i> Caused by an Envied Person’s Pain

Caitlin A. J. Powell, Richard H. Smith and David Ryan Schurtz

in Envy

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780195327953
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199301485 | DOI:
Schadenfreude Caused by an Envied Person’s Pain

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Philosophers have often linked envy with schadenfreude, in the sense that an envied person's misfortune is assumed to be pleasing. Envy contains features (such as hostility) that independently create schadenfreude, and so it follows that envy itself should be set the groundwork for schadenfreude as well, if the envied person suffers. This chapter reviews recent research exploring this assumption. Despite robust theoretical reasons for predicting that an envied person's misfortune should be pleasing, the empirical evidence has been inconsistent. The chapter outlines a number of methodological challenges inherent in examining this issue. It suggests reasons for the inconsistent findings and describes a recent study in which these methodological challenges were addressed.

Keywords: schadenfreude; envy; envied person; misfortune

Chapter.  8438 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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