Why envy outperforms admiration

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Abstract

Four studies tested the hypothesis that the emotion of benign envy, but not the emotions of admiration or malicious envy, motivates people to improve themselves. Studies 1 to 3 found that only benign envy was related to the motivation to study more (Study 1) and to actual performance on the Remote Associates Task (which measures intelligence and creativity; Studies 2 and 3). Study 4 found that an upward social comparison triggered benign envy and zubsequent better performance only when people thought self-improvement was attainable. When participants thought self-improvement was hard, an upward social comparison led to more admiration and no motivation to do better. Implications of these findings for theories of social emotions such as envy, social comparisons, and for understanding the influence of role models are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)784-795
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume37
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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title = "Why envy outperforms admiration",
abstract = "Four studies tested the hypothesis that the emotion of benign envy, but not the emotions of admiration or malicious envy, motivates people to improve themselves. Studies 1 to 3 found that only benign envy was related to the motivation to study more (Study 1) and to actual performance on the Remote Associates Task (which measures intelligence and creativity; Studies 2 and 3). Study 4 found that an upward social comparison triggered benign envy and zubsequent better performance only when people thought self-improvement was attainable. When participants thought self-improvement was hard, an upward social comparison led to more admiration and no motivation to do better. Implications of these findings for theories of social emotions such as envy, social comparisons, and for understanding the influence of role models are discussed.",
author = "{van de Ven}, N. and M. Zeelenberg and R. Pieters",
year = "2011",
language = "English",
volume = "37",
pages = "784--795",
journal = "Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin",
issn = "0146-1672",
publisher = "Sage Publications, Inc.",
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}

Why envy outperforms admiration. / van de Ven, N.; Zeelenberg, M.; Pieters, R.

In: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 37, No. 6, 2011, p. 784-795.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Why envy outperforms admiration

AU - van de Ven, N.

AU - Zeelenberg, M.

AU - Pieters, R.

PY - 2011

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N2 - Four studies tested the hypothesis that the emotion of benign envy, but not the emotions of admiration or malicious envy, motivates people to improve themselves. Studies 1 to 3 found that only benign envy was related to the motivation to study more (Study 1) and to actual performance on the Remote Associates Task (which measures intelligence and creativity; Studies 2 and 3). Study 4 found that an upward social comparison triggered benign envy and zubsequent better performance only when people thought self-improvement was attainable. When participants thought self-improvement was hard, an upward social comparison led to more admiration and no motivation to do better. Implications of these findings for theories of social emotions such as envy, social comparisons, and for understanding the influence of role models are discussed.

AB - Four studies tested the hypothesis that the emotion of benign envy, but not the emotions of admiration or malicious envy, motivates people to improve themselves. Studies 1 to 3 found that only benign envy was related to the motivation to study more (Study 1) and to actual performance on the Remote Associates Task (which measures intelligence and creativity; Studies 2 and 3). Study 4 found that an upward social comparison triggered benign envy and zubsequent better performance only when people thought self-improvement was attainable. When participants thought self-improvement was hard, an upward social comparison led to more admiration and no motivation to do better. Implications of these findings for theories of social emotions such as envy, social comparisons, and for understanding the influence of role models are discussed.

M3 - Article

VL - 37

SP - 784

EP - 795

JO - Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

JF - Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

SN - 0146-1672

IS - 6

ER -