Fear of malacious envy makes us helpful

December 5th, 2010 - 3:11 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Dec 5 (IANS) Success is always welcome - but it can also spark worries about envious people trying to bring you down.

New research has found that the fear of being targeted by malicious envy makes people more helpful toward others.

Niels van de Ven of the Tilburg University in the Netherlands and colleagues Marcel Zeelenberg and Rik Pieters had figured out that envy actually comes in two flavors: benign envy and malicious envy, reports the journal Psychological Science.

They found that those with benign envy were motivated to improve themselves, to do better so they could be more like the person they envied, according to a Tilburg University statement.

Conversely, people with malicious envy wanted to bring the more successful person down. Van de Ven and his colleagues wondered what the experience was like for the people who were the target of the envy.

“In anthropology, they say if you are envied, you might act more socially afterward because you try to appease those envious people,” de Ven said.

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