The desire for vengeance – to harm those who’ve harmed you - is part of human nature. Whether it’s getting your own back on a cheating partner or settling a score with a childhood bully, many of us have considered retribution against the person who’s done us wrong. Yet often we decide not to act on that instinct.

So what motivates someone to take revenge and why did this kind of aggressive behaviour evolve? Mike Williams talks to a perpetrator who found it sweet and hears the tragic story of a victim of impossibly cruel revenge.

“Annie”, who took revenge
Michael McCullough, Professor of Psychology, Miami University
Dr David Chester, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University
Sarah Heatley, mother of Nina and Jack
Philippe Sands QC, International Human Rights lawyer and author, East West Street
Professor Jack Levin, Co-Director, Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts

Presenter: Mike Williams
Producer: Sally Abrahams

(Photo: White Voodoo doll with red pins on cork background. Credit: Shutterstock/Scott Rothstein)

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18 minutes

Last on

Mon 12 Dec 2016 07:32 GMT
BBC World Service East and Southern Africa, Europe and the Middle East only

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