Heres why people root for the underdog

December 20th, 2007 - 4:02 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, December 20 (ANI): A study by University of South Florida researchers has revealed why people tend to favour weaker individuals more than their powerful counterparts, when it comes to competitions.

The researcher trioJoseph A. Vandello, Nadav P. Goldschmied, and David A. R. Richardsproposes that those who are seen as disadvantaged arouse peoples sense of fairness and justice.

They also say that people tend to believe that underdogs put forth more effort than their stronger counterparts.

The researchers used both sports and political examples in their study, and asked the participants to react to various scenarios presenting different competitors with an advantage or disadvantage.

In one experiment using the Israeli and Palestinian conflict, the participants were given the same essay about the history of the area.

The participants, however, were given different maps to referenceone showing Palestine as smaller than Israel and thus the underdog, while the other showing Israel as smaller.

It was found that notwithstanding what scenario the participants were presented with, they consistently favoured the underdog to win.

However, the favourable evaluation disappeared when the underdog status no longer applied, such as when people were expected to lose but had a lot of available resources.

The findings have been revealed in an article titled The Appeal of the Underdog, published by SAGE in the current issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, an official publication of The Society for Personality and Social Psychology. (ANI)

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