Schadenfreude and just world belief


Correspondence: Agnieszka Pietraszkiewicz, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Chodakowska 19/31, 03-815 Warsaw, Poland. Email:


The present study tested the hypothesis that a threat of a just world belief intensifies experience of schadenfreude (i.e., pleasure at another's misfortune). The participants read scenarios which were designed to threaten or maintain their just world belief. Subsequently, they were transferred to an online magazine presenting funny stories about other peoples' failures. As presumed, the participants exposed to the threat of just world belief spent more time on reading. These results confirmed the existence of a link between just world threat and schadenfreude.