ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

›› 2012, Vol. 20 ›› Issue (3): 443-456.

• 研究前沿 • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Schadenfreude: Malicious Joy at the Base of Human Nature

CAO Hong-Bei;XU Yan;XIN Xia   

  1. (1 School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University; 2 Beijing Key Laboratory of Applied Psychology, Beijing 100875, China)
  • Received:2011-07-15 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2012-03-15 Published:2012-03-15
  • Contact: XU Yan

Abstract: Schadenfreude, is defined as the pleasure at the misfortune of others. The intrinsic characteristic of Schadenfreude is a type of insidious affection. As a social emotion originated from social competition and comparison, it depends on the particular circumstance and is greatly influenced by a number of factors. It possesses a positive valence to the individual, but is largely negative to social relationships and also anti-society. The antecedent of Schadenfreude can be reasoned in the following three categories: target-oriented; relationship-oriented; and a combination of the two. Self enhancement is currently the focus of the Schadenfreude functional research. Mechanism research should be in place besides the antecedents and functional researches. The mechanism research manifests in the forms of Reversal Effect Hypothesis and Fluid Compensation Hypothesis.

Key words: Schadenfreude, malicious joy, disaster, human nature