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Schadenfreude, a bit of enjoyment at the misfortunes of others.

Do you take joy in seeing a colleague who "has it all" fail in some way?Credit: R. Gino Santa Maria | Shutterstock


My job is to see a lot of facebook pages and posts a lot of which include a schadenfreude effect. They are the ones that are designed to offer an envious effect.When the office slacker makes a mistake that could cost them a pay raise — do you truly feel bad, or do you have to work to hide your smile?

If you smiled, you've just experienced schadenfreude, a bit of enjoyment at the misfortunes of others. And now researchers know more about why we experience this seemingly odd emotion. Turns out, it can be a sure way to make you feel better about yourself. It's a self-affirming boost.

"If somebody enjoys the misfortune of others, then there's something in that misfortune that is good for the person," said study researcher Wilco W. van Dijk, adding that it could be due to thinking the other person deserves the misfortune, and so becoming less envio…

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