Episode 67: The Olympic Silver Medal? What a Bummer!

MichaelEmotion, Social Psychology

Psychologists say that winning the silver medal – coming in second – is actually less satisfying than coming in third – the bronze. Why is that? Sounds weird, but it also sounds right, doesn’t it? Have you ever come in second in a contest or received an A- instead of an A? Find out why winning the silver is…a bummer.
Athlete's on a podium and the Silver medalist is not happy


Source for this Week’s Episode

  • Medvec, Victoria Husted; Madey, Scott E.; Gilovich, Thomas. When Less is More: Counterfactual Thinking and Satisfaction Among Olympic Medalists. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, Oct 1995, Vol. 69 Issue 4, p603-610.
  • Here is the design used in this study:


Michelle Kwan – never won an olympic gold, but still the best:
Photo by Kevin Rushforth
Photo by Kevin Rushforth


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