Carlsmith and company concluded in a 2008 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, people erroneously believe revenge will make them feel better and help them gain closure, when in actuality punishers ruminate on their deed and feel worse than those who cannot avenge a wrong.
“I think uncertainty prolongs and enhances emotional experiences, and one of the things that avengers do unintentionally is to prolong the unpleasant encounter,” Carlsmith says. “Those who don’t have a chance to take revenge are forced, in a sense, to move on and focus on something different. And they feel happier.”
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