For centuries, scholars have argued that envy is the source of much aggressive behavior as well as the root cause of much unhappiness, but it is only recently that there have been attempts to examine the emotion from an empirical perspective. This book is the first of its kind to offer a comprehensive summary of current theoretical and empirical work on envy provided by scholars from a range of disciplines. The first section of the book focuses on the rich theological, philosophical, and evolutionary foundations of scholarly thinking on envy. The second section covers the social psychological work on envy and includes chapters on social comparison processes, definitional challenges, the link between envy and schadenfreude, intergroup envy, and fear of envy. The third section covers research on envy from organizational psychology, experimental economics, marketing, neuroscience, and anthropology. The fourth section focuses on the implications of understanding envy for physical and mental health with chapters on psychoanalytic conceptions of envy, health psychology, and the challenges of coping with envy.
A final chapter consists of reflective comments on all the chapters and brings together recurring themes and makes suggestions for future research on envy.