• Scandal is great entertainment because it allows people to feel contempt, a moral emotion that gives feelings of moral superiority while asking nothing in return. With contempt you don't need to right the wrong (as with anger) or flee the scene (as with fear or disgust). And the best of all, contempt is made to share. Stories about the moral failings of others are among the most common kinds of gossip, they are a stable of talk radio, and they offer a ready way for people to show that they share a common moral orientation.

    Jonathan Haidt (2006). “The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom”, p.60, Basic Books