PHILADELPHIA (CBS) --Researchers say they have found that getting revenge can be a viable method of mood repair for some.
The study found that feeling ostracized can lead to general aggression, and can even make a person lash out at people not connected to the situation.
Researchers tested the idea of social rejection and studied the ways that a person repaired their mood by whatever means available, including causing harm to those who caused their suffering.
According to MedicalExpress, researchers asked 156 participants to write an essay on a personal topic, then to swap their essays with other participants to receive feedback.
One group of participants received negative feedback, which was actually composed by the researchers, including notes such as "one of the worst essays I have EVER read."
Researchers then gave the participants the chance to express their feelings in the form of aggression. They gave them sticking pins to put in a voodoo doll and told them to imagine the doll as they person who had given them the nasty feedback.
Researchers found that doing this did improve the mood of the rejected participants, so much so that their mood was indistinguishable from participants who'd received positive feedback.
Researchers concluded that although the research focused on rejection-inspired aggression, it could also explain other situations where aggression appears to be used as plausible route to alleviating a bad mood.
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