People enjoy revenge over forgiveness in movies

New York : Whether it is ‘Sholay’, ‘Singham’, ‘Baaghi’ or ‘John Wick’, when it comes to the cinema we enjoy seeing bad guys get their punishment more than seeing them be forgiven because people find these narratives more meaningful and thought-provoking, says a new study.

‘We like stories in which the wrongdoers are punished and when they get more punishment than they deserve, we find it fun,’ said study lead author Matthew Grizzard from Ohio State University in the US.

‘Still, people appreciate stories of forgiveness the most, even if they don’t find them to be quite as fun,’ Grizzard added.

The study, involved 184 college students who read short narratives that they were told were plotted to possible television episodes.

The students read 15 narratives: one-third in which the villain was treated positively by the victim; one-third in which the villain received a just punishment; and one-third in which the villain was punished over and beyond what would have been a suitable penalty for the crime.

For example, one story involved a person stealing $50 from a co-worker. Participants read one of three possible endings. In one scenario, the victim bought coffee for the thief (under-retribution/forgiveness); in another, the victim stole a $50 bottle of whiskey from the thief (equitable retribution); and in the third version, the victim both stole his money back and downloaded porn onto the thief’s work computer (over-retribution). Immediately after reading each scenario, the participants were asked if they liked or disliked the narrative. More people liked the equitable retribution stories than those that involved under- or over-retribution, the study said. (IANS)

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