Winning a gold medal is the ultimate goal for Olympic athletes, but not everyone can be first. And while you’d think a person would be happier taking home a silver medal as opposed to a bronze, it turns out that may not necessarily be true.
According to a study, bronze medalists may actually be happier than those who come in second place. It seems based on facial expressions right after learning where they placed, bronze medalists scored a 7.1 average out of ten, while silver winners only got a 4.8. And bronze medalists are even happier on the podium, with their facial expression scoring a 5.7 compared to the silver’s 4.3.
So, why exactly would someone who came in third be happier than someone in second? Psychologists say it all has to do with expectations. Silver medalists are likely to be less happy because they are thinking about what could have been, focusing on “I almost,” while bronze medalists tend to think that they could have gotten nothing, so they're happier because they are thinking “At least I.”
But that’s not all. Silver medalists are also too busy comparing themselves to the gold winners than being happy, while bronze winners are only comparing themselves to themselves.
Source: NBC News