Revenge is Sweet?
"If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?
Revenge, say scientists is sweet. "Elegant" research, performed by the University of Zurich, Switzerland, published in the journal Science, shows that when we punish others for wrong doing, we feel good and we feel satisfied.
To test, how we feel after others have abused our trust and we are given the opportunity for "altruistic punishment", researchers scanned the brains of people wronged during a game, which involved trusting a partner to spit a pot of money evenly. In this experiment however, the partner actually kept all the loot. The researchers then, gave the wronged person the opportunity to get revenge and as the person contemplated how they would achieve payback, positron emission tomography (PET) measured brain blood flow. A flurry of neural activity, was noted in the caudate nucleus, a part of the brain known to process rewards. Brian Knutson, a psychologist at Stanford University, commented that this experiment also demonstrated "schadenfreude", the pleasure we derive from the misfortune of others.
In human history, the desire for revenge and the desire for loot have often been closely associated.
Revenge is Sweet
A Culture of Revenge
Credit: Flickr Snowlepardhonor killings” in Iraq in the previous decade! In some cultures young girls can be married off by their fathers at age nine. Children are considered the property of the father and if the girls refuse, they may suffer retribution for bringing shame to their family. The desire for "revenge", can also become terrifyingly ridiculous, like the case of the 12-year old Jordanian girl, whose father beat her to death with sticks and chains, because she went for a walk without her father's permission.