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Perhaps the idea that people believe revenge restores justice is really about reestablishing trust.Ariely's experiments on revenge showed that the tendency to seek revenge did not depend on whether the actual person responsible for the offense suffered, but only that associated with the offense pay.Maybe the purpose of revenge is in preventing certain hostile actions or the threat of revenge insures people do not hurt you in the future.But sometimes people act revengeful when no good can come of their actions, other than to inflict suffering on others. From lovers running over a beloved i Phone or destroying what their ex most values, to businessmen damaging the careers of those who have rejected them, to students opening fire in school hallways, revenge can be an act of anger, hurt and power.He called that the "understanding hypothesis."The second possibility was that of "comparative suffering." This meant that seeing an offender suffer was important.His research results showed that the only situation when acting on revenge was more satisfying than not acting on revenge was when the offender understood and acknowledged why the act of revenge had occurred.The students who didn't get the opportunity for revenge said they thought they would feel better if they'd had that opportunity, even though the survey results identified them as the happier group.Both groups thought revenge would be sweet, but their own reported feelings showed that revenge made them less happy. Carlsmith suggests that the reason revenge increases anger rather than decreasing it is because of ruminations.
The problem, according to Eric Jaffe, is that while the avenger often believes the offender received "just desserts," the offender usually perceives the retaliation as too harsh. The results showed increased activity in the reward center of the brain (striatum).Who hasn't said, "I hope he gets his," or wished that Karma would strike sooner rather than later?Dirty Harry's "Go ahead, make my day" resonates across generations.People who have been hurt or betrayed seem to believe without any doubt that if the other party suffers, then they will feel better--their emotional pain will lessen. Revenge Makes You Feel Worse To test whether revenge makes people feel better, Kevin Carlsmith and his colleagues set up a group investment game with college students where if everyone cooperated, everyone would benefit equally.However, if someone refused to invest his or her money, that person would benefit at the group's expense.