The idiom 'revenge is sweet' has been around for centuries, but new research has found it to be true.
A recent study found we feel measurably happier after taking action against others who have harmed us.
Researchers discovered that people do not just feel good undertaking vengeful acts, but that they actually seek out these opportunities to make themselves feel better.
David Chester and C. Nathan DeWall from the University of Kentucky tested the idea that social rejection can force us to repair our mood by any means possible, which could mean causing harm to those that hurt us, reports Alex Fradera with The British Psychological Society.
The team asked 156 participants to write an essay focusing on a personal topic and then switch with another participant so it can be critiqued.
In one group, the researcher pretended to be a participant and gave everyone bad feedback such as 'one of the worst essays I have ever read'.
The team measured the mood of the participants before and after they were given the chance to express their aggression - their aggression was released by sticking pins in a virtual voodoo doll while imaging it was the person who critiqued their essay.
Not only did the act of sticking fabric dolls with pins enhance the mood of the rejected participants, the researchers noticed a point where their mood was indistinguishable from the other group of subjects who received nice feedback.
To understand the motives behind aggressive behavior, the researchers conducted another study with a separate group of 154 participants.