Men appear to get greater satisfaction than women from witnessing painful retribution, according to a brain scanner study published today.
In women, the same pain regions of their brains were activated when they saw one of the actors get a shock as when they got a shock themselves; it was as if they actually felt the other person's pain.
But in men, these pain areas were not activated and instead, the pleasure centres of their brains lit up, meaning that they got pleasure, or at least satisfaction, from seeing the other person get a shock. "They expressed more desire for revenge and seemed to feel satisfaction when unfair people were given what they perceived as deserved physical punishment," said Dr Singer.
[Telegraph , 19 Jan 2006]
Dr Tania Singer, lead author of the study said that "we empathise with others if they act fairly.....but in contrast, selfish and unfair behaviour compromises this empathetic link."
And, between men and women, men enjoy it more seeing the cheats punished. Hmmmm....I wonder how this male schadenfreude relates to the ever-volatile local political picture.