The Paradoxical Consequences 1
The Paradoxical Consequences of Revenge
Summary of Article
The Paradoxical Consequences 2
This article discussed the idea that exacting revenge onto an offender can actually make the punisher feel worse. The article started out by discussing how cathartic aggression instead of helping to lower anger levels has actually been proven to increase anger level. The authors were interested what people would do and how they would feel afterwards if given the opportunity to punish those that wronged them. They argued that people were not given the opportunity to punish would be less likely to feel angry longer than those that were given an opportunity and took it. In three studies the authors set up a game with a free-rider paradigm. In the game [four] players would be given the opportunity to invest money with other members of the group. If everyone invested they would all make more money at the end of each round. However, anyone who didn’t cooperate with other members of the group would stand to make more money than his/her peers, thus being a free rider. In the studies, one controlled member would encourage everyone in the group to cooperate and then after round one would free ride on the rest of the group’s cooperation. In study one, at the end of the game some members would be able to punish the free rider anonymously, others were asked about punishing them but not allowed, and the rest weren’t asked about punishment at all. In study two, participants viewed the results of study one and were surveyed on how they would have felt or reacted as a player in the game. Also about how much anger they would feel towards the free rider. In study three, the game in study one was replayed with different participants, but this time players merely watch the punishment and had no decision to punish or not. Studies one and three found that given the opportunity to punish,...