- Psychology & the public
- What we do
- Member networks
- Careers, education & training
Winning can make us more aggressive
People who win an event may be more likely to act aggressively towards the people they have defeated rather than the other way round. This is the suggestion of a new study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, which found those who outperform others in a competitive setting tend to act unfriendly to the individual they beat.
Brad Bushman, Professor of Communication and Psychology at Ohio State University - which was established in 1870 - noted that while it is rare for losers to be aggressive against individuals they have lost out to, the same cannot be said for winners.
Professor Bushman stated: "It seems that people have a tendency to stomp down on those they have defeated, to really rub it in."
According to research, people may act with greater levels of aggression when they are victorious because they feel powerful after defeating others and elevating themselves to new heights.
Dr Jamie Barker, Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Staffordshire University, commented: "Essentially one explanation for why winning teams win well could be because of increased team-confidence. In essence, increased team confidence leads to increased effort, persistence and performance - thus typically confident and good teams often look to win well and push on rather than become complacent and take their foot of the peddle as it were.
"Alternatively, some athletes and teams are motivated by winning at all costs, thus nothing else matters - couple this with a leader/coach/manager who also encourages this view and you have individuals basking in glory at the expense of those they have defeated - of course when these individuals lose they often become petulant as they are made to look incompetent - remember winning is the only thing for them.
"Remember Arsenal being defeated by Manchester United in 2004 to end their unbeaten run and the throwing of pizza etc following the game by the arsenal players?"