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Those low in self-esteem have greater motivation for self-enhancement, and therefore will particularly seek downward comparisons with those they consider below them. Psychological research confirms that those who experience a recent threat to self-esteem have a greater need to restore their self-worth. This is where more schadenfreude following another’s misfortune comes in.

Caroline Criado-Perez and the Psychology of Cyber-Bullying and Twitter Trolling | Dr Raj Persaud