- Desire for vengeance and revenge: An emotion‐based approach to revenge
W. van Dijk
- Award date
- 4 November 2016
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
When someone has suffered at the hands of someone else, he or she might develop a tendency to take revenge, that is: “An attempt, at some cost or risk to oneself, to impose suffering upon those who have made us suffer.” (Elster, 1990, p. 155). Traditionally, most research on vengeance has focused on the act of revenge and not so much on the emotional state of desire for vengeance. In this dissertation, I described a set of studies that further enhances our understanding of desire for vengeance and its relation with actual revenge. I focused on three questions. First, what is desire for vengeance? Second, when and under which circumstances does desire for vengeance lead to revenge? And third, why are people motivated to take revenge? The results presented in this dissertation provided important insights in desire for vengeance and revenge. First, the experiential content of desire for vengeance was revealed. Second, it was shown that revenge is more likely when salient others of the victim approve revenge, or when the victim experiences strong feelings of anger as part of his or her desire for vengeance. And third, it was shown that in severe situations individuals experience more satisfaction from personally getting back at the offender than from observing vengeance by a third party. Whereas in moderate severe situations individuals experience equal amounts of satisfaction after personal revenge and vengeance by a third party. Altogether, this dissertation increases our understanding of desire for vengeance and its relation with actual revenge.
- Title on cover: Desire for vengeance
Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
Series: Dissertatiereeks Kurt Lewin Instituut 2016-11
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