• Success will be the best revenge : revenge as motivation for goal pursuit

      Ciuffetelli, Ryan (2019-05)
      In much of the published literature, revenge and goal achievement are studied as disparate fields. The present study attempts to unify these two fields by investigating whether motivation to get revenge can spur goal achievement. University students (N = 130) were randomly assigned, in an online-survey format, to play an economic game with a fair or unfair partner. Previous study showed playing with an unfair partner, unlike playing with a fair partner, can lead to revenge motivation. Uniquely, rather than using real currency like most studies with economic games, valueless “virtual units” were used. Next, participants were offered the chance to compete against their economic game partner in completing anagrams, some of which were impossible. Then, revenge motivation, goal complex, and task enjoyment measures were collected. As expected, participants that played with an unfair partner were more likely to harbor feelings of revenge than those who played with a fair partner. However, counter to expectations, motivation to get revenge did not significantly predict perseverance on impossible anagrams. While these findings are unable to establish the hypothesized link between revenge motivation and goal achievement, they do show that virtual currencies can be used in economic games in some circumstances, opening up new avenues for future research.