A youth baseball umpire gets punched in the face by an upset mother, a worker gets a drink thrown in her face over a 25-cent overcharge, and a 5-year-old gets killed when the passenger in another vehicle shoots into his mother’s car during a road rage incident.

People’s fuses are getting shorter, but why?

Dr. James Kimmel Jr., a lecturer in psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine who researches revenge cravings, justice addiction, violence prevention, and mental health, says that violence is up across the country because “America is becoming a justice addicted nation.”

He says he uses the word “justice” instead of “revenge” because many people who engage in these behaviors “almost always see themselves as victims first, seeking justice,” when what they’re really after is retaliation. But why is this happening?

Dr. Kimmel says, “Neuroscience is telling us that we are doing it because it triggers the same addiction pathway that’s triggered by substance abuse disorders.”

Hear more about the science of justice addiction on Thursday’s episode of Dr. Phil, “America’s Short Fuse: Afraid to Leave the House.” And later, find out why Dr. Kimmel says social networking platforms are contributing to the problem.

Check your local listing for air times.

WATCH: ‘We’ve Lost A Little Bit Of Our Humanity,’ Says Youth Umpire Who Was Punched By A Parent

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