Pleasure from Other’s Misfortune is Biological Response
(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Researchers have shown the feeling known as Schadenfreude, taking pleasure from the pain of others, is a natural biological response.
A series of four experiments were conducted to measure feelings of pleasure when participants were presented with negative events occurring to targets of envy. Researchers determined the two factors which determine envy are high status and competition. They found participants took great pleasure from seeing people with a high status or direct competitors suffer, but not a neutral third party.
"A lack of empathy is not always pathological. It's a human response, and not everyone experiences this, but a significant portion does," lead author Mina Cikara, PhD, was quoted as saying. “It's possible, in some circumstances, that competition is good. In other ways, people might be preoccupied with bringing other people down, and that's not what an organization wants."
For more information, go to: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nyas.12179/abstract
SOURCE: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, October 2013
Click Here for a free weekly email with Ivanhoe's latest Medical Breakthroughs.