University of Iowa research finds bronze medalists happier than those with silver

Friday, July 23, 2021

Winning is nice. But so is not losing.

Just check the faces of those Olympians who earn coveted spots on the podiums you’ll start seeing in the coming days as the postponed “Tokyo 2020” games get underway.

“What we see is the medalist who is the most happy is the gold medalist — because they just won the event,” said Andrea Luangrath, a University of Iowa assistant marketing professor who collaborated with one of her former UI undergraduate students, Raelyn Webster, and with Bill Hedgcock, of the University of Minnesota, on Olympics-related research into counterfactual — or “what if?” — thinking.

“But then the next medalist that’s expressing the most happiness is the bronze medalist,” Luangrath told The Gazette. “Those are the ones who tend to be smiling much more. And then silver medalists are the least happy of the three.”

University of Iowa study shows bronze medalists appear happier than silver medalists

Friday, July 23, 2021

A study with University of Iowa ties shows that bronze medalists are more likely to smile on the medal stand. Dr. Andrea Luangrath was part of a study to evaluate the facial expressions of Olympians who make it to the medal stand.

When bronze is better: Study finds Olympic bronze medalists appear happier than silver medalists

Friday, July 16, 2021

At the Olympics, bronze medals are given to people who finish in third place, and the definition of a third-place finisher is that they lost to the person who finished second. It’s how competition works: The second-place finisher beats the third-place finisher.

But a new study from the University of Iowa analyzed photos of Olympic medal ceremonies and found bronze medalists tend to appear happier than the silver medalists who beat them.

Building psychological ownership can help governments preserve parks and public spaces

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

More and more cash-strapped governments are looking for alternative methods of funding to maintain parks, roads, and other public spaces, turning to mechanisms like corporate stadium sponsorships or adopt-a-highway programs that leverage private resources. But a new study from the University of Iowa suggests that an effective way to build support for public goods is to create a sense of psychological ownership so people become motivated to actively care about preserving it.

A hand on the shoulder was good for business but COVID-19 changed everything

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Touching happens all the time in business settings. Colleagues and associates tap each other on the arm, touch their shoulders, or give pats on the back. Sometimes, if news is good, they even hug. It’s a way to get someone’s attention, offer congratulations, or persuade them.

Luangrath receives early career contributor award

Friday, March 2, 2018

Andrea Luangrath, assistant professor of marketing, received the 2017 C.W. Park Young Contributor Award at February’s Society for Consumer Psychology conference.