Neuroscientific Evidence of Schadenfreude
We all know women are more empathic than men. Science can now explain biologically why this is so. Imagine if the world had been ruled by women instead of men? How different would history read?
By Patricia Reaney
LONDON (Reuters) – Germans have a word for it — schadenfreude — and when it comes to getting pleasure from someone else’s misfortune, men seem to enjoy it more than women.
Such is the conclusion reached by scientists at University College London in what they say is the first neuroscientific evidence of schadenfreude.
Using brain-imaging techniques, they compared how men and women reacted when watching other people suffer pain.
If the sufferer was someone they liked, areas of the brain linked to empathy and pain were activated in both sexes.
Women had a similar response if they disliked the person experiencing the pain but men showed a surge in the reward areas of the brain.