Why You Enjoy Other People’s Failure | The Science of Empathy
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Why You Enjoy Other People’s Failure | The Science of Empathy


I actually have you guys on opposite teams sports is there anything better than going to a game with your friends eating some peanuts and cracker jacks and watching those losers on the other team lose I submit that there is not and part of why we feel that way is because we naturally sort ourselves and others into groups J van Babel and NYU psychologist has been studying how this group mentality affects our empathy towards each other for years he found that people not only empathize with others in their group more but actively take pleasure when people in out groups fail especially when competition is involved but van babel also found something else interesting when he had those groups compete he could change how empathetic they were towards each other with one simple trick and today we’re going to try it for ourselves we selected participants who were fans of rival sports teams and separated them into groups then we route them up to get the competitive juices flowing after we fan the fires of competition we had them fill out a survey that gauged their feelings for their fellow fans and rivals why then we told them they would be competing today hello everyone welcome to our lap today you’re gonna be participating in an experiment with us and that experiment is which fandom is best at a game that we call the human not rules it pretty simple you all form into a circle everybody puts both hands in grab somebody else’s hand at random and now you’re in a nut then you just try and untangle yourself but just before we started the game we told them we’d made a mistake actually wait hold on a second who who is Brianne Campbell that is me and who is Frankie mad drill right here you two are actually on the wrong team you’re gonna have to switch [Music] I’m sorry it’s what we have here on the clipboard I appreciate it yeah yeah there’s been a trade yeah this is what scientists found could totally change someone’s empathy for another group becoming a member of that group and having to work with them let the games begin and their untangling blue right away having some trouble red immediately swaps over some spinning motion there and though is the first completed wait [Applause] [Applause] when everybody was finally out and settled down again we have them take a reworded version of the questionnaire from earlier and the results everybody and I mean everybody’s empathy for each other went up groups that had to accept the new teammate reported feeling an average of thirty point seven five percent more respect and connection to their rival fans while individuals who switched southern empathy go up an average of forty six point eight eight percent of course we had to ask them why I mean it was really hard at first I really didn’t want to be part of the team I was like you know a little sabotage but then you know I kind of got into like the competitive’s for it and this fun and wanting to wanting to win no matter what I definitely didn’t want to be the jerk who was gonna be like obstructive and not helpful so I mean you know people are people even if they have a different Alliance there they’re still people I mean sports aside you still got to be simple and normal to people but when the game’s on you could be a complete asshole it was rough to lose a member of our tribe here but you know anybody who’s gonna play to win that’s a person I want on my team you start with these people and you see that they want to win come on let’s win let’s win and then you’re like you know what let’s go with the ride you gotta let go of the resistance when I was refusing to win and you wanted to win I was like am I really gonna send four people home man because I wouldn’t help where am I just gonna give in and have a good time so definitely that empathy wait on me to want to help you should be able to work with anyone no matter who they are race color sex and winners are winners so you know if you’re gonna win you come with anybody you develop an empathy as you’re going through you’ll find that little spot of commonality it’s easy to bond as a force a wall and say I am part of this group and you’re part of that group and it’s easy to just dehumanize the other people but when you’re one-on-one with somebody you know it’s ridiculous to try to say oh because you’re in this group and I’m in this group we can’t get along I think that it more people knew each other as people it wouldn’t be like that it wouldn’t we wouldn’t have to separate ourselves so much we split ourselves up for so many superficial reasons and when we do we start shutting out people who didn’t make our cup so if you’re struggling to connect with someone try switching to their team for a bit if you can stop thinking with an us-versus-them mindset and just understand where another person is coming from everybody wins [Music]

36 thoughts on “Why You Enjoy Other People’s Failure | The Science of Empathy

  1. Strange title, I'm going to check this out but, i've never enjoyed someone else's failure??? If I see others that do then I avoid them..

  2. I dont like people failing or suffering but it gives me a feeling that I am doing fine. It is just something of comparison.

  3. Last season you guys made a video about how to get over a break up but only covered Like 2-3 steps can you guys link me the rest of the steps or make a video with the rest of the steps. I found it super interesting

  4. Who else loves being early cause there’s a higher chance of getting 1k like?

    Edit-waiting for 100 replies about “thirsty for likes”

  5. It makes me sad these videos don't have more views they are so eye opening to our own faults as a species and how we can improve.

  6. Am I the only one who hates to see other people fail? Like for example whenever I watch a soccer game on TV I just want no one to lose even if my favorite team is playing..

  7. I see all these people on SoulPancake and I'm like 'The world really is a better place' and then I step out having to deal with these enormous jerks

  8. I personally hate to see others fail I genuinely want everyone on this planet to do amazing its what everyone deserves and it would make things easier but sadly not everyone can do good and thats when it gives me inspiration and yes it makes some people feel better but is it in a rude way? Not all the time and its truly sad for those who love to see others fail I think that in a humanly way its okay as long as you are still caring for others around you and understanding

  9. I feel like this could also explain why racists have less empathy for people of other races. They see other races as being on another team and see them as competition, like for jobs, government support ect. Might be dumb but just a thought lol

  10. This topic interests me as I learnt from soft skills training that many people follow the “I’m OK, You’re not OK” matrix correlation. It’s like schadenfreude technically. Great video for helping people to improve empathy. It’s not obvious to many people, just like common sense being actually quite rare and precious.

  11. I had a Science Lab class last semester and bonded with a set of awesome individuals. But,as the Lab class progressed I had the opportunity to slide into another Lab group who where cool to work with also.

  12. In short, because you yourself have failed & saw it as a failure. The wise ones see our failures as learning lessons and opportunities. The difference is all in your perception.

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