Revenge is bittersweet

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Plazma Inferno!, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

    Despite popular consensus that "revenge is sweet," years of experimental research have suggested otherwise, finding that revenge is seldom as satisfying as we anticipate and often leaves the avenger less happy in the long run.
    Now, new research from Washington University in St. Louis is adding a twist to the science of revenge, showing that our love-hate relationship with this dark desire is indeed a mixed bag, making us feel both good and bad, for reasons we might not expect.
    Its findings are based on three experiments in which about 200 people in each experiment were asked to fill out online questionnaires rating the intensity of moods and emotions triggered by their reading of brief news accounts, including one that described the killing of Osama bin Laden by U.S. forces as a retaliation for the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
    The experiments were designed to explore whether people are right in thinking that revenge has the potential to make them feel good, despite recent research that suggests otherwise.
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  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    The word "revenge" can describe several ways to do harm to a person, family, organization or other group. It's based on the notion that individuals have the right to punish others for the wrongs they have done. Stated this way, it is clearly an affront to the entire concept of civilization, which was established several thousands of years ago for many good reasons--one of which is that acts of revenge often cause more harm to individuals, families, institutions and civilization itself, than were caused by the original wrongs.

    Revenge is typically committed by people who are angry or bereaved, and don't we all know that people who are angry or bereaved are impaired by their own emotions?

    This is why most modern nations have legal codes that spell out the fairest and most effective way to punish people for the harm they do. These codes include an important notion that angry, bereaved people almost never take into account: the perpetrator may not actually be the person who committed the wrong, or he may have done it for a very good and honorable reason that was not obvious, or it may have happened by accident... or any of many other mitigating circumstances.
    Plazma Inferno! likes this.
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