Lange J, Weidman AC, Crusius J
J Pers Soc Psychol. doi: 10.1037/pspi0000118.
Despite envy’s importance as a driver of social behavior, scholars disagree on its conceptualization. We review the literature and distinguish three incongruent theories: (a) Malicious Envy Theory (i.e., envy as uniform and malicious), (b) Dual Envy Theory (i.e., envy as taking on 2 forms, benign and malicious), and (c) Pain Theory of Envy (i.e., envy as uniform and driven by pain). Moreover, within and across theories, operationalizations of envy have included various different components. We integrate these conceptualizations using a data-driven approach, deriving a comprehensive theory of envy in 5 studies (total N = 1,237)-the Pain-driven Dual Envy (PaDE) Theory.