Winning spurs an aggressive streak

March 1st, 2012 - 4:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 1 (IANS) Winners acted more aggressively against the people they subdued in competitive tasks than the losers did against the victors, a study said.

“It seems that people have a tendency to stomp down on those they have defeated, to really rub it in,” said Brad Bushman, study co-author and professor of communication and psychology at Ohio State University.

“Losers, on the other hand, don’t really act any more aggressively than normal against those who defeated them,” said Bushman, whose study is the first to examine whether winners or losers acted aggressively, the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science reports.

There were reasons to believe either side could have been more in a fighting mood, Bushman said. Losers might be the bigger aggressors because they would be angry against those who prevented them from feeling competent, according to an Ohio statement.

However, other research suggests that people are more aggressive when they feel powerful, as they may when they win a competition. These results, though, suggest “losers are the ones who bear the brunt of the aggression,” he said.

Bushman conducted the study with three French scholars: Dominique Muller and Emmanuelle Ceaux of Pierre Mendes-France University in Grenoble, and Baptise Subra of University Paris Descartes. Their findings were based on three related studies, involving 209 US and French students.

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