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Schadenfreude: Understanding Pleasure at the Misfortune of Others

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Abstract

When someone suffers a mishap, a setback or a downfall, we sometimes find ourselves experiencing schadenfreude - an emotion defined as deriving pleasure from another's misfortune. Schadenfreude is a common experience and an emotion which is seemingly inherent to social being. This book offers a comprehensive summary of current theoretical and empirical work on schadenfreude from psychological, philosophical and other scientific perspectives. The chapters explore justice as an underlying motive for schadenfreude and the role social comparison processes and envy play in evoking pleasure at the misfortunes of others in interpersonal relations. Schadenfreude is also described as a common phenomenon in intergroup relations. This is a compelling volume on a fascinating subject matter that aims to increase our understanding of the nature of this emotion and the role it plays in social relations.
... German "schaden" means pain, "freude" means pleasure. (Van Dijk and Ouwerkerk, 2014). The combination of these two words is translated as "rejoicing at someone else's failure or even enjoying their pain". ...
... Van Dijk and Ouwerkerk (2014) stated that the word schadenfreude may have been derived from the Greek word "epikhairekakia". In his book Ethics to Nicomachus (1108b/1-10), Aristotle explains "indignation" as a feeling that stands in the middle of jealousy and envy. ...
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The purpose of this study was to explain the mediator role of relational aggression between schadenfreude and personality traits through the path model. Dark traits, agreeableness and hostility as personality factors are thought to be related to rela-tional aggression according to General Aggression Model. Thus, the model was proposed by the author which included direct and indirect effects of personality factors on relational aggression and schadenfreude. 306 adults completed an online survey comprising dark triad, Proactive/Reactive Relational Aggression, agreeable-ness, and hostility scales and author-generated measure of expressed schadenfreude. Path analysis revealed that schadenfreude was predicted by only reactive but not with proactive relational aggression. Moreover, schadenfreude was predicted by the dark triad indirectly through reactive relational aggression. The dark triad was also predicted by agreeableness and hostility. Although reactive and proactive relational aggression were predicted by agreeableness and hostility, only reactive agression had a mediator role between personality traits (agreeableness, dark triad, hostility) and schadenfreude. Findings and implications for the future research were discussed. Limitations of the current study were also mentioned. Öz Bu çalışmanın amacı, yol modeli aracılığıyla zararına sevinme ve kişi-lik özellikleri arasındaki ilişkide, ilişkisel saldırganlığın aracı rolünü açıklamaktır. Genel Saldırganlık Modeli'nden hareketle, bu çalışmada kişilik faktörleri olarak ele alınan karanlık üçlü, uyumluluk ve düş-manlığın ilişkisel saldırganlıkla ilişkili olduğu düşünülmektedir. Bu-radan yola çıkarak, kişilik faktörlerinin ve ilişkisel saldırganlığın zara-rına sevinme üzerindeki doğrudan ve dolaylı etkilerini içeren bir model önerilmiştir. 306 yetişkin; karanlık üçlü, Proaktif/Reaktif İlişkisel Saldırganlık Ölçeği, uyumluluk ve düşmanlık ölçeklerini ve araştır-macı tarafından oluşturulan zararına sevinme duygusunu ölçen senar-yo ve ona ilişkin soruları çevrimiçi olarak tamamlamıştır. Yol analizi, yalnızca tepkisel ilişkisel saldırganlığın, zararına sevinmeyi doğrudan yordadığını ortaya koymuştur. Bunun yanında, karanlık üçlü, reaktif ilişkisel saldırganlık yoluyla dolaylı olarak zararına sevinme duygusu-nu açıklamıştır. Uyumluluk ve düşmanlık, karanlık üçlüyü doğrudan açıklarken, tepkisel ve amaca yönelik ilişkisel saldırganlığı karanlık üçlü yoluyla dolaylı olarak açıklamıştır. Tepkisel ve amaca yönelik ilişkisel saldırganlık, uyumluluk ve düşmanlık kişilik özellikleri bakı-mından anlamlı düzeyde yordanırken, kişilik özellikleri (uyumluluk, karanlık üçlü, düşmanlık) ve zararına sevinme arasında yalnızca tepki-sel ilişkisel saldırganlığın aracı rolü bulunmuştur. Çalışmanın bulgula-rı ve uygulama açısından görüşler, gelecekteki araştırmalar için payla-şılmıştır. Bunun yanında çalışmanın sınırlılıkları da belirtilmiştir.
... Ancak bazen, bir diğerinin üzüntüsü ötekilerin sevinci olur. Sosyal dünyayı değerlendirirken başkalarının başına gelen talihsiz veya üzüntü verici olaylar karşısında ortaya çıkan bu karmaşık duygunun adı başkasının üzüntüsüne sevinme duygusu ya da bir diğer ifadeyle, Schadenfreude'dir (van Dijk ve Ouwerkerk, 2014). ...
... Bileşik bir kelime olan Schadenfreude, "Schaden (Harm)" ile "Freude (Joy)" kelimelerinin bir araya gelmesiyle oluşmaktadır. Alanyazında bu duyguyu ifade eden kelimenin kökenine dair çelişkili açıklamalar bulunmasına rağmen van Dijk ve Ouwerkerk (2014), Schadenfreude kelimesinin Almancadan İngilizceye geçtiğini belirtmektedir. Pinker (1997, s. 367), bu görüşü destekler nitelikte ana dili İngilizce olanların Schadenfreude kelimesini ilk defa duyduklarında verdikleri tepkiyi şöyle anlatmıştır: "Başkasının talihsizliğine veya üzüntüsüne sevinme... Ne gibi bir şey olabilir ki? Ben bu kavramı anlayamıyorum çünkü kendi dilimde ve kültürümde bu kelimeye karşılık gelebilen bir şey yok". ...
... In-group favoritism suggests that individuals often prefer their ingroups while holding negative views of out-groups (Leach & Spears, 2009;van Dijk & Ouwerkerk, 2014). Thus, the negative emotion of schadenfreude is usually strong in intergroup relationships, especially competing intergroup relationships. ...
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Brands’ negative word of mouth (NWOM) generated by their unsatisfied consumers is increasingly transmitted by fans of competing brands. Although extant research has examined the generation of NWOM because of consumers’ negative consumption experience, little is known about the role of fans of rival brands in spreading NWOM of a focal brand and how the focal brand can mitigate this rival NWOM transmission. This research aims to investigate why fans who highly identify with rival brands are willing to transmit the focal brands’ NWOM and how the focal brand can mitigate the NWOM transmission. Through four studies comprising two surveys and two experiments, this article shows that consumers’ identification with rival brands leads to the NWOM transmission of focal brands, and that schadenfreude mediates the effect. Furthermore, NWOM transmission can be attenuated when the focal brand has responded to the original NWOM in an empathic way. This study enriches the word-of-mouth literature and offers important managerial implications.
... Clore, & Collins, 1988;Ouwerkerk, J. W., & Van Dijk, W. W., 2014) ...
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Competitive video gaming, presently defined and widely known as eSports, has been rising rapidly in popularity. Accordingly, research in eSports has gained interest for scholars to study the eSport industry in greater depth. However, much research has assumed eSports as the minority compared to traditional sport and rarely has explored the implications that can apply to the established traditional sport industry and marketing practices. In fact, eSport viewership is now similar to or higher than traditional sports, such as Major League Baseball (MLB). Thus, the eSport industry has now advanced to the point where their unique characteristics can significantly impact the overall sport industry. As eSports has grown rapidly enough to be considered as the mainstream industry, identifying the unique but positive aspects of eSports and considering applying eSports' strengths to traditional sports is necessary. This research is one of the first attempts to provide the unique characteristics of eSports by presenting an in-depth comparison with traditional sports and a comprehensive literature review. This study's contribution will be to broaden research opportunities in eSports and marketing literature. Ideas for future research and directions will also be discussed.
... Schadenfreude, originated from German language, is defined as a social hostility derived from the malicious pleasure gained from observing failures of others (Van Dijk and Ouwerkerk, 2014;Leach, et al. 2003;Smith et al., 1996;Van Dijk et al., 2005). For instance, individuals with a greater interest in international football felt the greatest pleasure from and therefore schadenfreude toward a rival country's downfall in football (Leach et al., 2003). ...
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Purpose-This study aims to investigate how luxury brand attachment (LBA) and perceived envy may influence schadenfreude. In addition, the moderating influence of consumers' need for uniqueness (CNFU) and private vs public consumption is examined. Design/methodology/approach-Data were collected from a consumer panel in Australia. A total of 365 valid and useable responses were analysed through structural equation modelling in AMOS 26. Findings-The results show that LBA has a significant impact on perceived envy. Consumers' perceived envy also results in schadenfreude. However, LBA did not have any significant impact on schadenfreude. The moderating influence of CNFU is partially supported. This research further confirms that consumers' public consumption has more relevance to visible social comparison and potential feelings of malicious envy towards others. Practical implications-The research model may work as a strategic tool to identify, which group of consumers (e.g. high vs low attachment) displays stronger envy and schadenfreude. Brand managers can also explore the personality traits and psychological dynamics that influence the consumers to express emotional bonds and malicious joy within the context of consumer-brand relationships. Originality/value-This is one of the first few studies that have examined the relationships amongst consumers' brand attachment, perceived envy, schadenfreude and need for uniqueness within a luxury branding context.
... Finally, despite going nameless in some countries (e.g., Spain), the meaning of Schadenfreude, pleasure at the misfortune of others (Russell, 1991a(Russell, , 1991bvan Dijk & Ouwerkerk, 2014), has been incorporated into our everyday knowledge and has often been related to envy. Scholars disagree, however, on the role of envy in Schadenfreude. ...
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The films embraced by the viewers due to their formal and/or aesthetic incompetence (e.g. technical flaws, lousy acting, cheap special effects, baffling storylines) are called "so bad, it's good," "good-bad film" or simply "badfilm". Badfilm, which constitutes a form of subcultural counter-aesthetics, overthrows traditional hierarchies of taste. Despite being positioned at the lowest end of film industry, badfilms are mostly embraced by cinephiles who seem to believe they have good taste. In order to elaborate on this paradoxical case, this article suggests that the cult interest in badfilms relies to a great extent upon emotional engagement. Through analyses of textual and extratextual features of Fateful Findings (Neil Breen, 2013), in conjunction with its various receptions, the badfilm appreciation will be investigated. Neil Breen's films are championed by virtue of their massive failures. They make viewers think of the films as artifacts rather than story-worlds. As a conclusion, the meta-level emotional responses called "artifact emotions" (Tan, Plantinga), due in no small part to "schadenfreude" (enjoyment derived from the troubles or failures of others) provide a basis for the collective appreciation of badfilms.
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