- 感情心理学研究 (ISSN:18828817)
- vol.16, no.1, pp.36-48, 2008 (Released:2008-12-17)
The present study examined the effect of envy and personality traits on the elicitation of Schadenfreude — pleasure at another's misfortune. The participants were 201 Japanese undergraduates. They responded to scenarios in which the target person was similar to them in terms of gender, and was made to appear either superior or average. The epilogue of scenarios informed participants that the target person had suffered a misfortune. Factor analysis of data indicated dual factors for the 13 items on the scale — Schadenfreude and sympathy. Analysis of variance revealed that the rating for Schadenfreude was higher for men than women, and that score was higer in the scenario in which the target person was superior than average. In addition, path analysis indicated that participants who had low self-seteem tended to feel envy, and this envy also mediated subsequent Schadenfreude. On the other hand, reported guilt of women predicted positively to sympathy, and that score predicted negatively to Schadenfreude.This finding suggested that guilt was the key variable that made gender differences of Schadenfreude and sympathy.