why bronze medalists are happier than silver medalists, and other things the olympics teaches us about human emotions

by:ShunDing     2019-12-25
The Olympic Games are a laboratory for testing the limits of human strength and endurance.
But it\'s also a lab for other types of experiments.
An experiment like this has been helping researchers unlock the mysterious official expression.
Psychologists have long argued whether people\'s smiles, frowns, and other expressions are a natural universal human reaction, or whether we learn them from people around us.
If we were born with certain facial expressions, the researchers believe they should be the same around the world.
However, if these behaviors are learned, they may vary depending on the location.
For decades, researchers have argued that people of different cultures express emotions in different ways.
In one culture, for example, people amplify their excitement to accommodate the people around them, while in another culture people learn to cover up their grief or disappointment in public.
However, some psychologists also believe that certain facial expressions are common and only part of human beings, which is somewhat controversial.
Unfortunately, the researchers found it very difficult to study this in the laboratory, because it is difficult to trigger real and strong emotional reactions in people in this artificial environment.
This is not the case at the Olympic Games.
The hard work and sweat of athletes on the Olympic stage, sometimes just a few minutes of performance, the winners and losers of various projects can not help but let their joy, anger, surprise, frustrated or disappointed with their performance.
For example, look at the surprise and joy of Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui, who learned from a reporter that she won the bronze medal in the women\'s 100-meter race --
Causing her a sensational reaction online.
This makes the Olympics an ideal place for San Francisco State University psychologist and former Olympic judo coach David Matsumoto to study emotional expression.
In a series of Wells
Known studies have shown that Matsumoto studies the general mood of human beings by observing the faces of athletes winning or losing.
In a study published in the journal Psychological Sciences in 2009, Matsumoto and two colleagues
The authors studied the facial expressions of 84 judo athletes from 35 countries during 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
These photos are taken at 8 frames per second to track the athlete\'s changes in facial expressions in the minutes that follow the results of the game and the minutes that follow.
The stakes are high: the game the researchers are watching is either gold-
The winner will win the gold medal and the loser will win the silver medalor bronze-
The winner won the bronze medal and the loser won the medal.
The researchers examined the photos and found evidence of the universality and cultural specificity of facial expressions.
In the moment after the athletes win or lose, they make facial expressions of joy, disappointment, surprise and other emotions that are very consistent in different countries and cultures.
But as time goes by, the athletes realize that they are on the world stage and that many cameras are aligned with them, and that their expressions have changed, and that it does vary from culture to culture.
\"Everyone has the first instant response, but if you look a little later they will remember me on stage and I\'m on TV and I have to be a good winner,\" Matsumoto said: \"A good loser, everyone adjusts their expression in some way. \".
It depends entirely on your culture and your upbringing.
Matsumoto stressed that people\'s behavior is greatly influenced by their personal character.
But culture also seems to play a prominent role.
Their study found that these expressions would vary depending on the country\'s population density, wealth, and individualism.
Athletes from countries with stronger individualist attitudes such as the United States tend to be more expressive than athletes from countries with high population density.
Athletes from more rural areas and more collectivism cultures tend to cover up their emotions more --
For example, use a polite smile instead of a disappointed expression.
In another study published in 2009, Matsumoto and his colleagues
The author uses some of these photos to explore these initial emotional responses.
This time, they compared the facial expressions of judo athletes at 2004 Summer Olympics with those of blind judo athletes attending 2004 Paralympic Games.
About half of these athletes are born blind, which means they are blind from birth.
The researchers concluded that those who are blind are unlikely to learn certain facial expressions from those around them.
The researchers looked at more than 4,800 photos taken by athletes after winning or losing the game, during the awards ceremony and on the podium.
According to the study, although they are from more than 20 different countries, the expression of anger, sadness, contempt, surprise and happiness produced by athletes with vision and blindness is exactly the same.
Those who have been blind since birth and those who have lost their eyesight when they are children or adults have no difference.
Matsumoto pointed out that visually and blind athletes from different cultural backgrounds took a specific expression and gesture of victory when winning.
Matsumoto describes the \"victory expression\" in the video below as a combination of \"expansion, attack, and attention\" in which the body expands, the posture is straightened, the arm is raised, and the person is staring at the game or the audience.
Matsumoto said that this act of victory is common not only in blind and visually normal athletes from many different cultures, but even in competitions.
This suggests that this may be an evolutionary adaptation that is somehow human-born.
Matsumoto said that the purpose of doing so is most likely to determine who is at the forefront of a particular social order by drawing attention to individual victories.
\"This is part of how individuals and how the group builds social hierarchy.
\"Matsumoto\'s findings echo the results of another well-known study by psychologists Victoria Vicki, Scott Madi and Thomas Gilovich at 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona
The researchers asked undergraduates to do 10-on the athlete\'s facial expressions-
From the \"pain\" of 1 point to the \"ecstasy\" of 10 points \".
To some surprise, the silver medalist immediately scored 4 points after announcing the results.
In this ratio, bronze medalists are far below the age of seven. 1.
At the awards ceremony later in the day, silver medalists fell to four.
3, still below the bronze medalist in 5. 7.
As Shankar Vedantam pointed out in an interview with NPR\'s hidden brain Matsumoto, the reason is related to the choice faced by silver and bronze medalists in the competition.
The silver medalist just missed a gold medal.
Like the Ukrainian contestant Oleg villaniyev below, he lost his gold medal in the men\'s gymnastics individual all-around event --around —
While bronze medalists may be happy to win the medal, just like Jessica Fox in Australia below.
\"It\'s a great achievement to win a silver medal at the Olympics, but silver medalists are not always happy,\" Matsumoto said . \".
Matsumoto and his colleagues also observed that silver medalists and other athletes who did not perform as well as they hoped \"managed\" their expressions in a similar way.
Those Lost in goldor bronze-
Judo medal competitions often show polite expressions at the awards ceremony known as \"social smile\" in songben --
There is only a smile on one\'s mouth.
Gold and bronze winners are more likely to show a real smile, with their entire cheeks raised and their eyes narrowed.
As a judo coach, Matsumoto has participated in four Olympic Games.
He said that the backstage of the Olympics is an incredible emotional place, \"because more people are lost.
There was a lot of anger and tears there.
He said: \"At the same time, the public watching the game on TV usually only sees tears and celebrations for the winners.
\"The rule for winners is that they can show on TV and they can show in public.
And losers must be good losers in public.
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