Does revenge work?

Does revenge work?

– we all struggle with dealing of injustice, inequity & unfairness – at the macro & micro levels
– it is a personality trait called “justice sensitivity” which has four types as follows
1) victim type – being on the look out for being taken advantage of
– often the person comes across as angry to other people
A focused on the self – the other three are focused on other people
2) observer type of justice sensitivity – this is where the person is outraged at the unfair treatment of others without themselves being involved
3) perpetrator type – an inclination to punish oneself for unjust behaviours so as to assuage guilt/make amends
– for e.g. A person who has been involved in a car crash & then going on a tour of the country about distracted driving/& being safe
4) beneficiary justice sensitivity – where a person will demand justice for fellow people

Does revenge make us feel better?
– it depends, but yes for those who are less forgiving & who are prone to rumination (as a consequence life is often less pleasant for such people) – they are prone to have higher negative affect about the perceived offence (that is they feel particularly hurt & angry when something bad happens to them
– also fixation on sleights & rejections is unpleasant & has a high cognitive load
– it should be noted that people who seek revenge often pursue such behaviour as an attempt at mood repair
– a lighter form of revenge is called “scapegoating” – calling out a person or group for undeserved blame
– this can also occur in the pursuit of justice (to alleviate guilt & ameliorate self-image by blaming an other)

– justice sensitivity can be seen as egotistical & antisocial
– when it is practiced on behalf of others, it is seen as being cooperative

Source: Savvy Psychologist podcast | 27 July 2018


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