, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 365-380

Assessing Vindictiveness: Psychological Aspects by a Reliability and Validity Study of the Vengeance Scale in the Italian Context

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Abstract

Vengeance can be commonly defined as the disposition towards the infliction of harm in return for perceived injury or insult or as simply getting back at another person. This paper describes a contribution to the Italian validation of the Vengeance Scale (Stuckless and Goranson, Journal of social Behavior and Personality 7: 25–42, 1992) following the same steps of the original authors and shows psychological implications of vindictive behavior. 377 under-graduate students responded to the Big Five Questionnaire, State Trait Anger Expression Inventory and a back-translated Italian version of the Vengeance Scale (IVS). The IVS shows good psychometric properties. Convergent validity is shown by correlations with crucially connected variables (anger, empathy, social desirability). Factorial analysis suggested that the IVS is basically a one-dimensional measure. Regression analysis reveals that empathy, anger and emotional stability are significant predictors of vengeance. General results show that the IVS is a good instrument of evaluation of the tendency to be vindictive. Statistic analysis highlights that specific personality traits are involved in vindictive behavior; furthermore the interactions between some features of subject and the environment appear determinant. The implications and utility of the IVS in future research are discussed.