One possible explanation for this phenomenon is that people may use the misfortune of similar others as a way of reducing their own self-threat. By seeing someone similar to themselves fail or experience misfortune, people may feel that their own position is more secure or that their own failures are less significant. In this way, the misfortune of similar others can function as a form of self-affirmation.
Donna L Roberts, PhD (Psych Pstuff)
Writer, content manager and business coach. I am also the Head of people and the Content Manager for a non profit organisation created in Africa.