Incidental envy is known to motivate self-improvement behavior. This phenomenon occurs in part because feelings of inferiority guide subsequent behavior in a way to self-improve, after experiencing envy. However, no research has yet examined whether this tendency may be affected by social context: private versus public. Although extant literature suggests that envy generally leads to self-improvement, we demonstrate that this effect may be mitigated under public social contexts. Across two studies, we find that although incidental envy generally increases self-improvement behavior (e.g., effort exertion and charitable giving) in private social contexts, this tendency is attenuated under public social contexts. We conclude with a discussion of theoretical and practical implications of this finding.
Youn, Y. Jin and Park, Kiwan
"Do We Always Hope to Become “Better” When We Experience Envy? Effects of Incidental Envy and Social Context on Self-Improvement Behavior,"
Asia Marketing Journal: Vol. 19
, Article 3.
Available at: https://amj.kma.re.kr/journal/vol19/iss2/3