According to recent findings, revenge sets the mood of the day from hurt and rejected to relieved and happy. Doing something to hurt back the people who hurt you, even as innocently as sticking pins on a voodoo doll while chanting the opponent's name have shown to repair mood.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of Kentucky and was led by David Chester and C. Nathan DeWall. They explain that once people get ostracized through social rejection, a feeling of being unwanted and rejected triggers negative emotions.
One effective way to deal with this unpleasant feeling, researchers found, is through retaliation. Resetting the negative mood of the day through aggression was observed to be an efficient way to repair mood.
According to ZME Science, Chester and DeWall recruited 156 volunteers as subjects of the social experiment.
They then gave each subjects essays about undisclosed subjects. The essays were written by the researchers themselves and contain nasty comments.
The subjects who were offended were then given access to a virtual voodoo doll. They were to symbolically express their aggression by sticking pins on the doll that represents the person who wrote the nasty remark. Mood was measured before and after the activity.
Interestingly, the mood of those who stick the pins showed to have improved and indistinguishable from those who only received positive comments.
In another similar experiment by the same researchers, they found that people don't just feel good undertaking vengeful acts, but that they actually seek it out to make themselves feel better, the SBS says.
Although the experiments were focused on revenge as a way to feel better, Chester and DeWall recommend avoiding hurting others after a provocation. The unpleasant mood of the day can be easily repaired by other mood enhancing alternatives like meditation or exercise as reported earlier.