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Gleeful Schadenfreude

She deserved it! Sometimes we can’t help but feel joy over another’s pain. But why do we like watching others fall into misfortune? Malicious envy is part of the equation, and usually we scorn the people most like ourselves. Why is she better than me? Oh look, she fell on her face. Yay. Schadenfreude and social comparison explained. Featuring posts by Richard Smith, Ph.D.
public domain/Wikimedia Commons

The Singular Nature of Malicious Envy

By Richard Smith Ph.D.

Malicious envy consents to self-inflicting harm.
By Anonymous (monogrammed) - Düsseldorfer Auktionshaus, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22690231

What Can Be Made of Schadenfreude?

By Richard Smith Ph.D.

Moral qualms aside, taking pleasure in the suffering of others can be thrilling
Rosanna Smith, used with permission

With Whom Do We Compare?

By Richard Smith Ph.D.

We compare ourselves with those who share comparison-related attributes.
Georg Denda, used with permission via creative commons attribution-share alike 3.0 unproved

The Dispositional Schadenfreude of Mao Tse-tung

By Richard Smith Ph.D.

Mao's selfish ambitions required that others suffer.