Poster F18, Tuesday, March 28, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Boosting Self-Esteem Through Remembering Relaxed Experience Suppresses Envy and Resultant Schadenfreude as Measured with Fmri
Shohei Yamazaki1, Motoaki Sugiura1, Kelssy H dos S Kawata1, Yukako Sasaki1, Rui Nouchi1, Kohei Sakaki1, Shigeyuki Ikeda1, Ryuta Kawashima1; 1Tohoku University
Envy and resultant schadenfreude are the source of various negative social behaviors. In previous studies, it was discovered that self-esteem is negatively correlated with envy and resultant schadenfreude and we hypothesized that boosting self-esteem suppressed envy and resultant schadenfreude. We measured the brain activity which was extracted by virtual scenario method as an index and examined our hypothesis. We employed 40 university students and divided them into an intervention group and a control group. We improved self-esteem of the former group members with a semi structured interview. This method was used in the precedent study. We had subjects remember a situation in which they felt relaxed in a past social experience about 5 minutes. We had a short conversation instead of improving self-esteem with the latter group members. We had them do an fMRI task which drew envy and schadenfreude using a virtual scenario used in precedent studies and the State Self-esteem Scale before (Pre phase) and after (Post phase) intervention. First of all, self-esteem increased only in the intervention group. In the Pre phase, we replicated envy and schadenfreude-related activation in the dorsal anterior cingulate and ventral striatum, respectively, reported in Takahashi et al (2009). These activations decreased in the Post phase only in the intervention group. We were able to show that the self-esteem intervention of five minutes could suppress envy and resultant schadenfreude.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Emotional responding