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Showing posts from September, 2020

Why is Forgiving Difficult?

Revenge is sweet At a human level why do we seem to enjoy holding on to grudges and seeking to take revenge? Does revenge really feel sweet? In 2004 researchers at the University of Z├╝rich demonstrated that punishing rule-breakers for unfair behavior or violating social norms activates a pleasure center of the brain related to satisfaction. (Brian Knutson “Sweet Revenge?” Science 27 August 2004)   This lead to a series of popular news reports that the old adage “revenge is sweet” is scientifically proven. Revenge may create initial feelings of pleasure or satisfaction, but more sophisticated research indicated that this was only so if the revenge was able to send a message to the offender.  A simple example might be beeping your horn at an inconsiderate driver. Following up on more recent studies in 2011, Eric Jaffe warned that, “Behavioral scientists have observed that instead of quenching hostility, revenge can prolong the unpleasantness of the original offense and that merely bri