Revenge Is Bittersweet, Research Finds

Posted on July 19, 2016

Revenge is a dish best served cold. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.

The culture is swimming with depictions of revenge: Sometimes it's deeply satisfying, sometimes it injures the avenger, and sometimes it's a little bit of both.

And it turns out that people's response to vengeance may be just as complicated in real life, new research shows.

A 2012 study in the journal Biology Letters found that people tend to punish others not because of a desire for revenge but because of a sense of fairness. And a 2014 study found that after committing an act of revenge, people feel worse.

But Eadeh wasn't convinced that this could be the whole story. After all, if all revenge does is make people feel bad, why do they seek it out? Even babies believe wrongdoing deserves punishment, according to a 2011 study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Source material from LiveScience


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