illustration of a medal
Friday, July 23, 2021
Vanessa Miller | The Gazette

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.”

Read more on The Gazette website.