Pages: 256
Subject: Popular Science, Popular Psychology
Imprint: Oneworld


And the Upside of Your Dark Side

Simon McCarthy-Jones

Why do we cut off our noses to spite our faces?  A leading expert in psychology shines a light on a universal emotion
9781786078421 (22 Oct 2020)
RRP £16.99

The Book

Spite covers psychology, economics, genetics, literature and current affairs to examine why humans inflict self-harm  just to get one over on someone else. Why do we secretly want our friends to fail? Lots of irresistible stories about  toxic behaviour in supermarkets and over the privet hedge, ramping up to incendiary divorces, vicious business practices, backbiting politics, scorched earth terrorism, Trump, and Brexit. Was Trump elected because people voted out of spite for Hillary Clinton?

There's a hopeful message too - the upside of our dark side. Spite can drive us forward, and  Simon provides a fresh perspective on the word by showing the evolutionary benefits of spite as a social leveller, an enabler of defiance, a wellspring of freedom and a vital weapon in our everyday armoury.

Additional Information

Subject Popular Science, Popular Psychology
Pages 256
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

Simon McCarthy-Jones is an Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology at Trinity College Dublin. An internationally recognised expert on the experience of hallucinations, he also writes on and researches a range of psychological phenomena. He has written extensively for the popular press, with articles published in the New Statesman, New Scientist, Newsweek, the Huffington Post, the Daily Mail, The Independent and The Irish Times. His articles on ‘The Conversation' website have received over a million views to date. His website is: www.simonmccarthyjones.com.


‘With rigorous science, penetrating analyses, colourful and enjoyable prose, and an astonishing breadth of knowledge - Simon McCarthy-Jones has delivered a book that will undeniably be appreciated by many.'

- Frank Larøi. University of Bergen