SPN Lab Media Features

Several media outlets have featured work from David Chester, Ph.D., and/or the SPN Lab. Browse a selection of these profiles below.

police tape with a police car in the background

Will sadist profiling stem violence, shooting or terrorist attacks?

"After understanding what drives sadists, researchers want to create profiles that could be used to identify those who are most likely to commit violence..." Read more.

~ International Business Times (December 3, 2017)

word: sadism

Vengefulness is driven by one dominant personality trait

"For this study, Chester and DeWall started with the simple question: 'Who are revenge-seekers — and what motivates them?'” Read more.

~ Psychology Today (December 2, 2017)


brain scan

Study links the brain to aggressive behavior

"Social scientists say children who are physically abused are more likely to be abusive themselves as adults, but research at VCU suggests another factor in people who are violent." Listen to the radio broadcast.

~ Radio IQ [WVTF] (November 30, 2017)

Happiness and hurtfulness: Why does it feel so good to act so bad?
"How would it feel to get even with your biggest enemy? The answer, according to David Chester (2017), is as sweet as apple pie." Read more.

~ Association for Psychological Science (August 31, 2017)

What is the psychology behind violence and aggression? A new VCU lab aims to find out
"Why do people seek to harm others?Read more.

~ VCU News (August 17, 2017)


The hidden upsides of revenge
"Revenge serves a very useful purpose – even the idea of seeking it gives us pleasure. Why is this?" Read more.

~ BBC Future (April 3, 2017)

darth maul

Por qué nos sentimos tan bien cuando nos vengamos
"La venganza mejora nuestro estado de ánimo a corto plazo, pero sólo la llevamos a cabo si creemos que vamos a conseguir esa mejoría." Lee más.

~ El Español (March 28, 2017)


"When we turn other cheeks we feel crappier, so get feisty and angry and scrappier. Don't just sit there and brood, striking back lifts the mood. It's been proof that revenge makes us..." Listen to the radio broadcast.

~ Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! [NPR/WBEZ Chicago] (January 28, 2017)

woman peace

People who take revenge do it to restore inner peace, study says
"Researchers assessed how rejected participants felt, and then had them participate in a digital 'Voodoo Doll Task.'" Read more.

~ Broadly [Vice] (January 11, 2017)

woman warning

Revenge really IS sweet
"Study finds we feel 'measurably happier' after taking action against someone who did us wrong." Read more.

~ DailyMail.com (January 9, 2017)


Revenge really is sweet: study shows the mood-enhancing effect of retaliation
“To obtain the positive affect associated with retaliatory aggression, individuals may actively seek out provocation in their daily lives.” Read more.

~ The British Psychological Society Research Digest (January 5, 2017)


Turns out getting revenge really does make you happier
"It’s not exactly a flattering reflection of our collective psyches, but it’s one of those things that’s nevertheless good to know." Read more.

~ The Science of Us [New York Magazine blog] (January 5, 2017) 


Loneliness can be depressing, but it may have helped humans survive
"In other words: It’s not you, it’s just your genes trying to help you survive the dangers of the Paleolithic wilderness." Read more.

~ The Washington Post (September 2, 2016)


Trump is a near-perfect example of needy narcissism
"...narcissists would never tell you explicitly that they are quietly panicking about their self-worth...But in some fascinating new studies, the brains and bodies of narcissists betray them." Read more.

~ The Science of Us [New York Magazine blog] (March 14, 2016)


At a neurological level, narcissists are needy
"If you were genuinely happy with yourself, why would you feel the need to constantly boast and seek admiration from others?" Read more.

~ The Science of Us [New York Magazine blog] (July 8, 2015)


Can Tylenol ease the pain of a home sale?
"Taking Tylenol can reduce the psychological pain of decision-making, a new study finds. We ask if two tablets could affect a real-estate deal." Read more.

~ The Wall Street Journal (October 23, 2014)