Timing Key To How You Experience Envy


New York: When it comes to feeling jealous, timing could make all the difference. New research has found that we are more envious of someone else’s covetable experience before it happens than after it has passed. “Enviable events lose some power over us once those events are in our past,” said study co-author Ed O’Brien, Associate Professor at the University of Chicago in the US. Envy is an interesting emotion because it can motivate negative outcomes such as self-dislike, and also positive outcomes such as feeling inspired.

For the study, the researchers conducted three experiments. In the first study, 620 participants imagined a close friend getting to have experiences that the participants desired themselves, such as taking a dream vacation, being promoted to a dream job, and buying a dream car. Some imagined how they would feel about the various scenarios in the days and weeks before they happened.

Others imagined how they would feel in the days and weeks after the events occurred. The results showed that timing, even when thinking about hypothetical scenarios, mattered. Participants rated the experiences, which were otherwise identical, as less enviable after they happened than before they happened. (IANS)

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