Eye for an eye, but not for everyone: Revenge and its relationship with the need for closure
Boyatzi, Lauren Minacapelli
Kruglanski, Arie W
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The urge for revenge after an individual experiences a transgression is ever-present. However, little is known about why one chooses revenge specifically versus other options. This paper examines the desire for revenge as a function of the need for closure. Specifically, this paper argues that due to its evolutionary benefits, revenge is the most cognitively accessible reaction and thus, individuals high (vs. low) in the need for closure seize and freeze on it after a transgression occurs. Results provide convergent support for the positive association between the need for closure and the desire for revenge but are unable to provide evidence that revenge serves the urgency and permanency desires of high need for closure because of its greater saliency. Methodological limitations and theoretical implications are discussed.