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Have you ever smiled when a rival co-worker experiences a misfortune? Do you enjoy watching “Reality TV” shows like Cops and laugh watching the lowlifes get busted? Did you get a kick out of seeing Martha Stewart get her comeuppance? Then you have experienced “schadenfreude”, a German term meaning “shameful joy”. It’s when we get a pleasurable feeling from watching other people do poorly. We don’t like to talk about it, but we all feel it at times. Tonight on Inquiry we speak with RICHARD H. SMITH, Professor of Psychology at the University of Kentucky about his new fascinating boo: THE JOY OF PAIN: SCHADENFREUDE AND THE DARK SIDE OF HUMAN NATURE.
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