Monday, July 14, 2014

Why do Bronze winners ended up happier than Silver Losers?

The world cup has finally ended. GERMANY triumphed over second place Argentina by a score of 1-0 courtesy of Mario Gotze goal in extra time.

What I would like to point out here is the psychological consciousness of the 2nd and 3rd place.

As we all know, Bronze medal winners would need to lose first then win. On the other hand, Silver medal winners would need to win first then lose. So what is the difference between the two? Why would silver medal winners be more upset than bronze medal winners? A good example would be the Dutch and Argentina players when they clinched 3rd and 2nd place respectively. The Dutch are looking so happy clinching their 3rd place while Argentina players are looking like dead zombies on the street.

Based on a research, it appears that this behavioral aspect is due to the psychological comparison for silver medal losers to compare themselves against gold medal winners. Silver medal losers torment themselves with counterfactual thoughts such as "If only... that a** Higuain scores in the first half". 

On the other hand, bronze medal winners subconsciously compare themselves against 4th place losers who did not receive a medal at all.

Does this mean that we should eliminate 3rd/4th place playoff? Maybe the way Tennis and NBA ranking can be applied to soccer and other sports.

Personally for me, I have encountered such scenario myself and the feeling in entirely true if you are a loser in the final.

What about you? Do you think 3rd/4th place playoff is meaningless? Should the silver medal deserves better?


  1. Comparing to those lost their money in 2007?

    1. Those who have lost paper money during the GFC (assuming they don't sell) have all recouped their paper profits back during the rebounds.

  2. Maybe 3rd/4th place playoff creates extra 1 more game of ticket sales which can be substantial to the organizer? But for me, I think it is only meaningful for the people from that country. E.g. It may be meaningful for the Dutch as they may feel that at least they are 3rd best.

    1. Hi Rolf

      Definitely that is one extr revenue for the organizer. I heard the world cup revenue alone exceeds 45 million for the organizer. Now that is creating value there.