AIRhead Olympics Research Review
Olympian theories, experiments, and conclusions
"Diarrhoea at the Olympics," J.R. Owen, British Medical Journal, vol. 4, no. 631, December 7, 1968, p. 645.
Bronze is Best
"When Less is More: Counterfactual Thinking and Satisfaction Among Olympic Medalists," V.H. Medvec, S.F. Madey, T. Gilovich, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 69, no. 4, October 1995, pp. 603-10. (Thanks to Miriam E. Tucker for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, who are at Cornell University, report that:
[A]n analysis of the emotional reactions of bronze and silver medalists at the 1992 Summer Olympics--both at the conclusion of their events and on the medal stand--indicates that bronze medalists tend to be happier than silver medalists. The authors attribute these results to the fact that the most compelling counterfactual alternative for the silver medalist is winning the gold, whereas for the bronze medalist it is finishing without a medal.
Music, Music, Music"Mellow and Frenetic Antecedent Music During Athletic Performance of Children, Adults, and Seniors," N. Becker, et al, Perceptual and Motor Skills, vol. 79, no. 2, October 1994, pp. 1043-6. The authors, who are at Ursinus College, Collegeville, Pennsylvania, report that
No significant differences between frenetic and mellow music were noted.
Time in a Dinghy
"Temporal Patterns of Physical Activity in Olympic Dinghy Racing," S. Legg, H. Mackie, and P. Smith, Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, vol. 39, no. 4, December 1999 pp. 315-20. (Thanks for Arl Doherty for bringing this to our attention.) The authors are at Massey University, New Zealand.
Tales of the Unexpected I
"Basketball Performance as a Function of Scores on Profile of Mood states," R.W. Newby, and S. Simpson, Perceptual and Motor Skills, vol. 78, no. 3, part 2, June 1994, p. 1142. The authors, who are at Tarleton State University, Stephenville, Texas, report that:
The results suggested that the basketball players' performance was disrupted by a negative mood.
Tales of the Unexpected II
"An examination of mood changes and performance in a professional basketball team," J.R. Hoffman, M. Bar-Eli, and G. Tenenbaum, Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, vol. 39, no. 1, March 1999, pp. 74-9. The authors, who are at the Israeli Air Force Aeromedical Center, report that:
These results suggest that the mood state vigor may be reflective of team performance.
Olympic Oral Tradition
"Dentistry's Olympic Hall of Fame. 1. An Olympian Remembers," C.B. Kanterman, TIC, vol. 44, no. 5, May 1985, pp. 1-7.
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