HATE YOUR BOSS? STAB A VOODOO DOLL
The last time your boss got on your nerves, how did you deal? Next time it happens you may want to take out your frustration on a voodoo doll. University of Waterloo researchers had 400 participants who were placed into two groups: one that would retaliate to abusive behavior, and the other that would not.
They were all asked to recall a time when they were abused by their boss in their career. Half visited a website with an interactive voodoo doll and were asked to mark it with their boss' initials and harm it using pins, pliers, and fire. Others were just shown a screenshot of the doll, which was labelled as 'nobody,' and were told to trace its outline with their cursor.
Volunteers then had their 'perceptions of justice' assessed. Results showed those given the chance to retaliate (by attacking the voodoo doll) had a significantly higher sense of justice.
However, when participants were not primed to think about being abused, they did not derive feelings of justice from abusing a voodoo doll.