You might have heard about schadenfreude – a German word which describes taking pleasure in the misfortune of others. But did you know that there are different types of schadenfreude?
Researchers have recently suggested there are three different subtypes. Schadenfreude can be motivated by social justice: for example, feeling joy after a bully is punished for their actions. It can also be caused by aggression – when someone sees a line between “us” and “them,” they might take delight in seeing a misfortune fall on the other group. An example is seeing a rival sports team lose. Thirdly, it can also be caused by personal envy and spite.