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Motivational and Behavioral Expressions of Schadenfreude among Undergraduates

dc.contributor.advisorKirby, Leslie
dc.contributor.authorKleinman, Elana
dc.description.abstractSchadenfreude, the pleasure that results from another person's misfortune, is an interesting topic within emotion research. However, there has been limited research regarding whether cultural tendencies influence the motivational urges, action tendencies, and enacted behaviors of schadenfreude, the pleasure felt from another’s misfortune. In order to find out whether culture and language influence the motivational and behavioral expressions of schadenfreude, participants (N=146) completed an online questionnaire in which they read a schadenfreude eliciting vignette and responded to a series of questions to assess their appraisals, emotions, thoughts, and action tendencies. In addition, participants filled out measure to assess their levels of individualism/collectivism and empathy. The vignettes followed a 2 (competitive, slapstick) x 2 (academic, social) x 3 (friend, stranger, disliked target) design in order to determine whether certain situations and/or targets elicited greater amounts of schadenfreude. Unfortunately, the expected culture and language differences were not significant in predicting schadenfreude, but we were able to find that that schadenfreude is influenced by the target, the situation, and the individual’s level of empathy. In addition, we found that the significant appraisals associated with schadenfreude were: relevance, congruence, outside factors, other accountability, and accommodation-focused coping potential.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipThesis completed in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Honors Program in Psychological Sciencesen_US
dc.publisherVanderbilt Universityen_US
dc.subjectSchadenfreude, Appraisal Theory, Culture, Emotionen_US
dc.titleMotivational and Behavioral Expressions of Schadenfreude among Undergraduatesen_US
dc.description.collegePeabody Collegeen_US
dc.description.schoolVanderbilt Universityen_US

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