Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Olympic Athlete Study Shows That Pride And Shame Are Universal And Innate Expressions

Date:
August 12, 2008
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
The victory stance of a gold medalist and the slumped shoulders of a nonfinalist are innate and biological rather than learned responses to success and failure, according to a University of British Columbia study using cross-cultural data gathered at the 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Pride expression - sighted male athlete.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of British Columbia

The victory stance of a gold medalist and the slumped shoulders of a non-finalist are innate and biological rather than learned responses to success and failure, according to a University of British Columbia study using cross-cultural data gathered at the 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

In the first study of its kind, UBC psychology researcher Jessica Tracy investigated how pride and shame are expressed across cultures, and among the congenitally blind. She compared the non-verbal expressions and body language of sighted, blind, and congenitally blind judo competitors representing more than 30 countries, among them Algeria, Taiwan, North Korea, the Ukraine and the United States.

Asst. Prof. Tracy's findings – published in this week's online Early Edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences – show that the individuals displayed pride and shame behaviours in response to the same success and failure situations.

Pride, unlike fear, anger or joy – which are categorized as primary emotions – has received little research attention in the past, explains Tracy. Her work explores how pride as an innate human biological response has evolved through time and shapes human social dynamics.

"Since congenitally blind individuals could not have learned pride and shame behaviors from watching others, these displays of victory or defeat are likely to be an innate biological propensity in humans, rather than learned behaviour," says Tracy.

Tracy and co-author Psychology Prof. David Matsumoto of San Francisco State University analyzed photos taken by an official International Judo Federation photographer who was not told about the specific research goals. The photographer shot the athletes during and immediately after each match, repeatedly for approximately 15 seconds, allowing for a series of moment-by moment images of each behavioural response.

The researchers coded the athletes' head, arms and body positions. They found that winning athletes, both sighted and blind and across all cultures, tended to raise their arms, tilt their head up and puff out their chest. Also largely universal were the expressions of defeat, which include slumped shoulders and a narrowed chest.

The researchers found that, to some extent, culture moderated the shame response among sighted athletes. It was less pronounced among individuals from highly individualistic, self-expression-valuing cultures, primarily in North America and West Eurasian countries. However, congenitally blind athletes across cultures showed the shame response, suggesting that the cultural difference found among sighted athletes was due to the Western cultural norm of hiding one's shame.

"These findings support evolutionary accounts that pride and shame would have been powerful mechanisms in enhancing or inhibiting an individual's social status," says Tracy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of British Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "Olympic Athlete Study Shows That Pride And Shame Are Universal And Innate Expressions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080811200018.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2008, August 12). Olympic Athlete Study Shows That Pride And Shame Are Universal And Innate Expressions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080811200018.htm
University of British Columbia. "Olympic Athlete Study Shows That Pride And Shame Are Universal And Innate Expressions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080811200018.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins