Sunday, August 16, 2009

Google Scholar

When I have to do some research but am not able to get to a medical library, I try Google Scholar. I am sure some academic snobs think it's too much of a short-cut, but I rather like it. It's also nice to see how many others have cited the piece of work you are reading. So, I looked up "epicaricacy" in Google Scholar tonight, and found it here and here. The latter is a research paper at Cleveland State University, and here is the quote (in a footnote):

"159 “Schadenfreude” is a German word, usually capitalized, signifying a malicious or perverse pleasure in the misfortune of others. 16 Oxford English Dictionary 611 (2d ed. 1989). It has been imported to English directly in its German form, as it is often said to have no true English equivalent. But see Peter Novobatzky & Ammon Shea, Insulting English 51 (2001) (defining “epicaricacy,” an English word of apparently similar mean-ing, but appearing in few modern dictionaries). In some of its earliest scholarly usage, Schadenfreude focused upon considerations of interpersonal relations. See generally Fritz Heider, The Psychology of Interpersonal Relations (1958); Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals 127 (Walter Kaufmann ed., Walter Kaufmann & R. J. Holl-ingdale trans., Vintage Books 1989) (1887). In more recent scholarly usage, it has moved beyond the interpersonal to the broader context of intergroup relations, particularly where there are feelings of scorn or superiority held by one group towards another, and for this reason, it has a particular piquancy in the context of some mainstream white atti-tudes held about poor, black Katrina victims. See Russell Spears & Colin Wayne Leach, In-tergroup Schadenfreude: Conditions and Consequences, in The Social Life of Emotions 336, 336–38 (Larissa Z. Tiedens & Colin Wayne Leach eds., 2004). Spears and Leach argue that Schadenfreude is an important aspect of group social identity because of the way that it implies both “psychological distance” from and “emotional divergence” between one..."

The former cite has this quote:
"When a theoretician conflates the axes of intentionality and rationality is ignored, it is expected for him or her to conflate malevolence (spite) with selfishness. To wit, the sociobiological [e.g., Wilson, 1975] and the economics literature [e.g., Hirshleifer, 1987; Levine, 1998] uses the terms “spite” and “selfishness” more-or-less interchangeably. In light of the TAE hypothesis, we should be able to distinguish them. Spite or malevolence is probably a more complex form of “schadenfreude” (from German) or “epicaricacy” (from Greek). Schadenfreude is probably the basic element of “class envy” or, what is called in Australasia slang, the “tall poppy syndrome” 43 [Feather & Nairn, 2005].12 Evil is probably the most extreme form of schadenfreude [Khalil, 2007d]. An evil act is defined as the “joy” experienced by the principal at the sight of the misery of others, when the principal need not have benefited from the act. In contrast, selfishness is an act that the spectator can understand because the intention is to enhance the wellbeing of current self, but when the optimal choice is to take care more of the interest of future self or of the interest of important other. As such, the spectator, or judge within, expresses unsympathy towards selfish actions—while still empathetic with them. This differs from the spectator’s expression of rejection towards schadenfreude—where the spectator cannot even understand (i.e., cannot empathize with) the principal’s action. Schadenfreude or, its more extreme forms, envy, spite, and malevolence are emotions/acts that the spectator find revolting."

I need to read more about the "tall poppy syndrome."

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