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Envy: Theory and Research (Series in Affective Science) Hardcover – August 28, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0195327953 ISBN-10: 0195327950

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Envy: Theory and Research (Series in Affective Science) + The Joy of Pain: Schadenfreude and the Dark Side of Human Nature
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Product Details

  • Series: Series in Affective Science
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (August 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195327950
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195327953
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,258,280 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"...a necessary and provocative resource on an intriguing topic."--CHOICE

"Envy: Theory and Research is a fascinating and wide-ranging exploration of the subject of envy... [It] deserves a spot on the bookshelf of anyone interested in the subject of human behavior. Psychologists from a wide range of disciplines will find this book to be an important reference. Eminently readable yet sophisticated in its scope, it is appropriate for both undergraduate and graduate students as well as psychologists from a broad range of disciplines and interests. Cognitive psychologists will find it as useful a reference, as will psychoanalysts, industrial/organizational psychologists, and health or social psychologists. It is a rich resource and a worthy examination of a complicated aspect of human nature."--PsycCRITIQUES

More About the Author

Richard Smith is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Kentucky. He majored in English at Brown University and completed his Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He studies social emotions such as awe, envy, and schadenfreude.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By King Yin Yan on August 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I skimming this quickly in the library and found chapters 5 and 6 very informative. They explain the factors that usually cause jealousy or envy, which include closeness (the most intense jealousy is usually directed towards someone close) and a sense of "felt desert" that is being denied (ie, the person feels that s/he deserves something that the rival has).

It confirmed something that has perplexed me for a long time: that people usually can be intensely jealous of their "Joneses" relative wealth difference but which, if extrapolated proportionally, would mean the richest people like Bill Gates would be skinned alive by their jealousy, but that doesn't happen (unless you're close to them).

The author gave a plausible explanation that human emotions evolved from living in small tribes, so our most intense emotions are triggered by comparison with close neighbors. It's a fascinating topic.

I'm also curious about the phenomenon where (some authors said) when a low-caste person (eg, Asian, African) tries to escape from their low status, other people of their race would pull them down. I didn't find it in this book, but it's related.
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