To test the hypothesis that Schadenfreude, pleasure at the suffering of others, will result when an envied person experiences a misfortune, envy was created in subjects by asking them to watch a videotaped interview of a student who was made to appear either superior or average. An epilogue informed subjects that the student had suffered a recent setback. The envy created in subjects was found to enhance the likelihood that they would feel Schadenfreude on learning of this setback. In addition, dispositional envy predicted subjects' envy of the student, and this envy also mediated subsequent Schadenfreude. These results strongly support linking envy with Schadenfreude.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology