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Envy: The Motivations and Impact of Envy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-22
Number of pages13
JournalBritish Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

King's Authors


Background: Evidence suggests that envy may be linked to negative mental health outcomes such as poor self esteem and depression, yet few studies have attempted to evaluate its cognitive, behavioural and emotional components outside of a laboratory setting.
Aims: In this research we aimed to explore the lived experience of malicious envy from the envier’s perspective including cognitive and emotional aspects and behavioural responses.
Method: A thematic analysis was conducted on the responses to open-ended questions in a written format designed to assess the motivations and impact of envious thoughts.
Results: In 50 participants the analysis resulted in delineating 6 categories and 33 themes relating to the experience of envy.
Conclusions: This research provides detailed information on the specific cognitive, emotional and behavioural components of envy.

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