A FASCINATING study on the psychology of Olympic medalists produced an
unexpected result – that less can sometimes be perceived as more.
Before the research, the psychologists assumed silver medal winners would
be happier than the bronze medalists. Not so.
The bronze medalists, who came in third place, were found to be more
contented than the second-place silver medalists.
Silver medalists were generally more frustrated and felt like losers
because they had missed the gold medal, while the bronze medalists were
simply happy to have received any medal.
Psychologists described it as counterfactual thinking.
Perception is a powerful thing. So many of our actions are determined by
how we perceive things to be, not how they really are. How we perceive is
based on what we think we hear or see. Yet, our perception of happenings,
situations and people can be wrong.