Torn Between Online Marketing Stories: Trait Ambivalence’s Influence on Schadenfreude


  • Jacob Hornik Tel Aviv University, Israel
  • Matti Rachamim Bar Ilan University, Israel


schadenfreude responses, trait ambivalence, media information, rival entity, schadenfreude


Schadenfreude, a bittersweet social phenomenon, is considered an atypical and complicated state that might reflect ambivalent types of sentiments — a mix of both positive and negative reactions and complaints towards others’ misfortunes. This research note reports an exploratory study examining the association between trait ambivalence and four different online marketing schadenfreude stimuli. Based on the results, trait ambivalence appears to provide a novel explanation for schadenfreude responses, suggesting a link between schadenfreude and trait ambivalence when consumers encounter online information about a disliked or rival entity’s misfortune.




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