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The appeal of the underdog


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The appeal of the underdog definition of the construct and implications for the self
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Goldschmied, Nadav
University of South Florida
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Looming success
Dissertations, Academic -- Psychology -- Doctoral -- USF   ( lcsh )
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ABSTRACT: From politics to sports to business, people are quick to categorize those at a considerable competitive disadvantage as "underdogs." Moreover, there is ample support that most unattached observers do not hesitate to align themselves with underdogs, a phenomenon termed "the underdog effect." While most dictionary definitions state that underdogs are "especially expected to lose," the present investigation argues that people often attribute optimistic qualities to underdogs and the exceeding of expectations. A series of studies was conducted to examine the lay-person definition of what an underdog means, as well as what motivations may play a role in the underdog effect. Study 1 investigated people's spontaneous definitions of underdogs by exploring the semantic network of the underdog construct through the use of the discrete associations method. Study 2 explored the hypothesized looming success component of being an underdog by asking participants to evaluate future success of underdogs vs. disadvantaged entities. Study 3 utilized the false recognition paradigm to explore schematic memory of success associated with the underdog construct, while the last study assessed whether people do truly support those at a competitive disadvantage or merely root against the favorite, as well as explored the possible role of the self in the underdog effect. Support for the looming success of the underdog was found in the first two studies while the last study demonstrated that strong self-identification with the underdog was highly correlated with support for it. Overall, the results of the current study suggest that people in American society believe that underdogs are unique exemplars which are expected to do significantly better than the initial expectations.
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2007.
Includes bibliographical references.
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by Nadav Goldschmied.
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The Appe al o f t he Underdog: D e finition of the Co nstruct and Im plications for the Sel f b y N adav Gol dschmi ed A dissertat ion submitted in partial fulfillment of the requir ement s for th e degree of Do ct or of Phil osophy D epartment of Psych ology College of Art s and Sciences U ni v ersity of South F lorida M ajor Professor: Joseph A. Vandello, Ph.D. Jamie Goldenbe rg Ph.D. J onathan Rott enbe rg, Ph.D. K risten S al omon, Ph.D. Kevin Thom pson, Ph.D. Date of Approval: Ju ne 2 1, 2007 Keywords: lo omi ng s uccess, disadvantage, schade nfreude C opyrig ht 2007, Nadav G olds chmied


i T able of Content s List o f Ta bles iv List o f Fig ures v Abst ract vi Intr oduction 1 T he Appe al of the Underdog 1 P ast Re search on Underdogs 4 T he Loomi ng Success Component 7 J u stice B ased Moti vations for Supportin g Underdogs 9 U tilita rian Based Mo tivations 12 U n derdog and the Im plications for the Self 15 O v erview of the Pres ent S tudies and S peci fic Predi cti ons 16 Stud y 1: The Semantic Network of the Underdo g 19 M ethod 24 P arti cipant s 24 P roc edure 24 A n al ytic St rat eg y 26 R esults 27 D iscu ssion 29 Stud y 2: The Looming Success of the Underdog Di rect Inv estigat ion 32 M ethod 35


ii P arti cipant s 35 P roc edure 36 R es ults 37 L ooming Success 37 S upport 39 L abeling 39 D iscu ssion 40 Stud y 3: The Looming Success of the Underdog A Re cognit ion Task 42 M ethod 45 P arti cipant s 45 P roc edure 45 R esults 48 D iscu ssion 51 Stud y 4A: T he Just ice fr amework: S chadenfre ude or Unde rdog Support: A Memory Test to Detect Attentional Focus 54 M ethod 60 P arti cipant s 60 P roc edure 60 R esults 62 S upport 62 M emor y 64 D iscu ssion 67 Stud y 4B: Im plicat ions f or the Self: The Effect s of Underdog Succe ss for the Self 70


i ii M ethod 72 P arti cipant s 72 P roc edure 72 R esults 73 D iscu ssion 75 General Discussi on 78 Ref erences 84 Appendices 93 A p pendix A: St udy 1 M aterials 94 A p pendix B: St udy 2 Materials 97 A p pendix C: St udy 3 Materials 108 A p pendix D: St udy 4 M ate rials 120 A bout the Author End P ag e


iv L ist of Tab les Table 1 Mean s cores and normalit y indica tors of the Re act ion Tim e V ar iable, prior t o and following L og transformat ion 53


v L ist of Figures Figure 1 Cog nitive map (free dis cret e associa tes) of the word plane t 27 Figure 2. Cog nitive map (free dis cret e associa tes) of the word underdog 32 Figure 3. Projected s uccess as a funct ion of labe ling a nd domai n. 40 Figure 4. Mean reaction times (after Lo g t ransformat ions) i n response to the U n d erdog i tem, acro ss 3 conditions. 50 Figure 5. Confidence ratings in for Unde rdo g i tem recogni tion, a cross c o nd itions. 50


vi The Appeal of the Under dog: Definition of the Construc t and Impl ica tions for t he S elf N adav Gol dschmi ed A BSTR ACT F rom politi cs t o spo rts to bus iness, people are quic k to ca tegoriz e those at a con siderable competitive disadvantage as unde rdogs. Moreove r, there is ample support that mos t unat tached observers do not hesit ate to ali g n them se lves wi th underdo gs, a phe nomenon te rm ed the und erdog ef fect. W hil e most dic tiona ry de finit ions state that underdogs ar e esp ecially expected to lo se, the pre se nt inve st igati on argues that people ofte n attribut e opt imistic qualities to underdog s and t he exce eding of ex pecta tions. A series of st udi es w as conducted to ex amine the lay person defi niti on of what an underdog mea ns, as wel l as what motivations may pl ay a role in the underdog effec t. Study 1 investigated peopl es spo ntaneous definit io ns of u nderdogs b y e xploring th e se mantic network o f t he underdo g cons truct through the use of t he discret e associa tions method. Stud y 2 explored the hy pothes ized looming succe ss com ponent of bei ng an underdog by aski ng parti cipants to evaluate future suc cess of unde rdogs vs. disadvant aged e ntities. Stud y 3 uti li zed the fals e reco gnition paradigm t o explore sc hemat ic m emory of success associated wit h the underdog construct, while t he l ast st udy asse ssed wheth er people do truly s upp ort those at a competiti ve disadva ntage or m erely root agai nst the fa vorite, as well as exp lored the pos sible role of the self i n the unde rdog e ffect Support for the looming success of the underdog was found in t he first t wo studie s whil e the l ast study demonstrat ed that strong s elf identification with t he underdog was highly c orrelated with


vi i supp ort for i t. Over all, the results of the current st udy suggest t hat peopl e in American soci ety believe t hat underdogs are unique ex empla rs whic h are expe cte d to do signific antly bett er t han the initial expecta tions.


1 Intro duction Th e Appeal of the Underdog H ist ory is fill ed wi th enduring stories of rival ries bet we en enti ti es wit h noti ceable disparities of power o r pr estige, ranging from t he para gon bibli cal stor y of Davi d and Goli ath, through mythological Troy facing the alm ighty Gree ks, to m odern day geopolitical exampl es pitting the USA as the lone superpower a ga inst muc h less pow er ful riva ls. Somet im es t he lopsided struggle i nvolves groups (for e xampl e, the USA hockey team vers us the m ighty Russians in the mi racle on ice ), whi le at othe r tim es the rivalry is between indi viduals (f or example, Tru man versus De weys fam ous c ome from behind victory of t he presidency in 1948). W h en s uch dispari ties of power or expecta tions for suc cess exist, one si de is often labe led as an underdog (while its opposing party is term ed a favori te, front runner or top dog). Underdogs are present throughout ma ny human e ndeavors, ranging from terri torial disput es betw een tribes or states, to such dom ains as poli tic s, sports, or the busi nes s world in w hich competition is hai led as the sourc e of econom ic growth. Underdogs are often depicted as heroes, such as Rock y Ba lboa i n the movi e Rocky or a horse named Seabi scuit w ho won the Kent ucky Derby despi te insurmounta ble odds. T he term underdog f irs t s urfaced in the 19t hc entury. The w ord originated from dog fighting, a common practice in thos e days, in whic h the l osi ng dog was dec lared the


2 un der dog because it w ould usually s ubmi t, rolli ng over on it s ba ck, all owi ng the stronger d og t o tower over him. The weaker dog was li teral ly under the st ronger one. One s hould not e that being an underdog, ba se d o n the present day defini tion, e xists f or the most part at t he point in time before an out come is dete r mined. T he Merriam Webster dictionar y lists two defini tions of an underdog: (1) a l ose r or predicted l oser in a struggle or contest ; and (2) a vi cti m of inj ust ice or pe rse cution (Me rriam Webste r, 1 994). Note that the second c haract eri zat ion raises the is sue of justice in det ermini ng who qu alifies to be label ed as an underdog. T he pres ent dissertation outlines four studies tha t were designe d to expl ore how peo ple understand the un derdog concept, a s wel l as to ex ami ne possibl e mot ivations f or underdog suppo rt. The specific goals of this proje ct were t hreefol d: First, it aimed to clarify the meanin g of the underdo g concept Spe cifi cal ly, it is proposed t hat t he lay persons defi ni ti on of the underdo g differed from the di cti onary defini tion. Primarily, it is h ypothesized t hat, due to repeated exposure t o sel ect ed exe mpla rs of tri umphant underdogs depi cted in movies, literature, poli ti cs, a nd sport indivi duals faci ng the underdog t op dog situation tend to as sume the underdogs loom ing su ccess whi le discount ing objec tively lower base rate odds for it s succe ss. Secondly, t his dissertation atte mpted to tea se apart whether, or under wh at condi tions, underdogs are suppor ted versus top dog s are rooted ag ainst a ph enomenon known as schadenfreude It was hypothe sized t hat t he relative status of an enti ty, and pa rtic ularly i ts devia tion from the average, di ctat es p eoples attitudes toward it T hus, when sca rc ity of re sourc es (in


3 comparis on t o t he average) is made salient people mi ght be drawn to sympat hize with underdogs; conversely, when abundan ce of resources (in c omparison to t he ave ra ge) is made sa lient, peopl e w ill tend to root agai nst top dogs. T o test t his hypot hesis, atte ntiona l focus w as meas ured b y tes ting m emory for de tai ls of e vents associa ted with t he competi ng e nt it ies. Thirdly a final aim of t his projec t was t o explore the i mplications of un derdog support for the self. It was h ypot hesize d that underdogs a re supported in part b ecause their success giv es people hope a nd impl ies tha t outc omes (parti cular ly neg ative outcome s) are not fixed or predete rmine d. I n the contex t of this investigation, underdog support was exa mine d only i n indiv idual s w ho nei ther have prior affiliati on wi th any of t he compe ting e ntit ies ( be it the underdog or t he top do g), no r pos sess detai led or spec ific knowle dge about the competing entities pri or t o the ex perimental encoun ter with t hem. Othe rwise, i f any prior af filiation or a tt achment does exist, the ques tion becom es of one of fan ship, and a lthough the underdog support i s not expected to overri de the fa ns a ffili ati on, it i s be yond t he scope of th e present work to examine this ass ertion. Addit ionall y, the c urrent inve st igation is base d on the assum ption that there is a dire ct, z ero sum com peti tion bet we en the underdog an d t he favorite: when one prevail s t he ot he r loses and vice versa. La stl y, a resolution of t he competition is in near sight and is concl usi ve. The out come can be the fina l score o f a sports game, adjudication by a court a winning bid for a busi ness tende r or a win in a poli tical race.


4 Past Res earch on Underdogs D espite the ubiqui ty of underdogs, research e xami ning people s re act ions to the m has b een scant. On the surface, based on so cial ident it y t heory (Taj fel 1978) one might predict that unaf fi li a ted obs ervers, who in essence ge t to c hoose si des, woul d align themselves wit h the favorite, as its chance s t o pre vail are hi gher. The t heory asserts that gro up membership creates in group self c ate goriza tion a nd enhance ment in ways that favor the in grou p at the expense of the out group. T he m inim al group studi es of Tur ner and Taj fel (1986) demons trated that t he me re ac t of indi viduals ca tegori zing themselves as group members w as sufficient t o lea d them to displa y i n group favoritism. Afte r being cat e g orized by group memb ershi p, indivi duals seek t o a chie ve positive self este em by posit ively differentiatin g their in group from a c ompari son out group on some valued dimension. Thus if the only informat ion a bout a group or an ent it y a vailable f or thi rd p arty observers is expectations for suc cess a nd one assumes that suc cess is a cherished a ttribut e, then the unattach ed observe rs should support t he favorit e (i.e., the one with the history and likelihoo d of success), rathe r than the underdog. H o wever, co ntrary to the intuitive notion tha t non affil iat ed obse rvers sh oul d supp ort the stronger side, there is s ome li mit ed evide nce i ndica ting tha t indi viduals tend to support underdogs rather than dominant entit ie s. For instanc e, Frazi er and Snyder (199 1) demo nst ra ted that students ex pose d to short scenari os desc ri bing a c ompetition between a hypot hetical, heavily favored tea m and a lesser count erpart i n a seven game playoff ser ies (wi th no other information avai labl e) showe d a ma rke d favorit ism (88.1% )


5 towards the underdog. After the participant s had made t heir j udgment, t hey were told that the heavi ly favored team lost the fir st three consecuti ve gam es and thus wa s on the brink of eli minat ion from the series. F aced with t his new sc enario, i n whi ch the roles hav e been inversed, abou t half of the part ici pants (49 out of t he 99 people who favored the original underdog) changed their allegia nces and prefe rred tha t the ori ginal under dog (i. e., the less ca pable team in the original scenari o) lose the next gam e, a p ossible testament t o the transient nature of who qua lifi es a s a n underdog. More over, when presented wi th a t hi rd and last scenario in whi ch t he two tea ms we re tie d at t hree g ames, eac h going t o the last deciding match in t he series, 37 out of 44 pa rtic ipa nts cha nged their alle giances onc e again and expressed their hope for a win for the origina l underdog demonstrat ing on ce again how fickle the unde rdo g a ttri bution proc ess i s. V an dello, Gol dschmied and Richards (in pre ss) ca pita liz ed on the 2004 Ol ympics in an attempt to create a more naturalistic envi ronment to assess t he robust ness of the underdog support phenomeno n. S pecifi cally, the pa rtic ipant s were provi ded with five cou ntries al l ti me Olympic medal totals, which were a ssume d to be good i ndicators of these count ri es chances of winning in the upcom ing Summe r Olym pics. Parti cipants were asked to im ag ine two of the countri es e ngaged i n an upcom ing swim ming contest. The res ult s reve aled that, in accord ance wit h t he rel ati ve rankin gs of the tea ms, th ose cou ntries wit h fewer medals received signi fica ntly stronge r support from the unaf filiated indiv idual s. Thi s backing of the underdog was e specia lly a pparent for t he country in the mi dd le of the pack (Belgium, ranked number 3): whe n this countr y fa ced a top r anked


6 team (Sweden) participants w ished for it (Bel gium) t o wi n, but when it fa ced t he lowest ranked team t he support s hifted to its rival. C eci and Kain (1982) used the presidenti al ra ce of 1980 be tween Cart er and Rea gan to de monst rate the underdo g effe ct i n polit ics. The partic ipant s were presented with fake poll s i ndicating eith er of the candida tes holdi ng a domina nt le ad. Among the participant s w ho w ere expos ed to a Carter l ead, 44% dec lared t hemsel ves in Reagans cam p, versus rou ghly 30% in C arters, while 25% rema ined unde cided. On the other han d, amon g those who were told that Re agan was holding a substant ial lea d in the polls, only 21% d eclar ed themselves in his favor while approxi mat ely 53% ali gned t he mselves with Carter. Moreover, the a uthors divid ed the pa rtic ipant s i nto those who had an initial inclination towards o ne of the candidates befo re the pol ls we re int roduc ed (i.e ., partisans) and t hose who had no inclin ati on a t al l (i.e ., the unde cide d). Eve n among the partis ans, 22% of those belonging to t he Rea gan cam p and 30% of the Ca rter camp shifted their support follow in g the manipula tion (i .e., when presente d wi th the polls indic ating domi nance of their candidate). Am ong the ori ginal ly undeci ded group, the shift was eve n m ore ove rwhelming, as 66% change d thei r minds to oppose the dominant frontrunner. I n a more recent st udy, V andello et al. (in press) explore d the underdog phe nomenon in t he geop olitical realm. Unli ke in previ ous rese arch in t he poli tical domain (cf., Ceci & K ai n, 1982), underdo g sta tus wa s de fined as a c ountrys relative siz e on a map. Specifi cally, the participants were exposed to ei ther a m ap in whic h Isr ael was


7 drawn next to t he Palestinian Authority so that the form er was greate r in size relative to the lat ter, or a m ap in wh ich I srael was shown as a part of the l arger Middle Eas t r egion whe re Is rael appeared much smaller rela tive t o its Arab nei ghbors. All pa rtic ipants w er e furnished wit h the same abbreviated hist or y o f t he Arab Israeli confli ct (wit h a ba lanced representat ion of each side of the conflict) and th en we re asked a bout thei r supp ort for the two sides (as w ell as their prior knowledge of the hi st ory of the c lash, in order t o rule out any prior affil iat ion with one of the s ides). As in previ ous studi es, partic ipant s suppor t varied as a funct ion of the underdog s tat us, a s e xpresse d by t he size on the m ap, exte nding their support in either conditio n to the sma lle r si ze part y. Th e Looming Success Component T he sound support extended to the un derdog dem onst rate d i n the re viewed st udies is puzzling in l ight of the Websters dicti onary defi niti on, whi ch charac teri zes the underdog as a l oser (Merriam Webster, 1994). In t urn, W ebsters defini tion for a loser is: (1) one that l oses especially consi stently; (2) one who is inc ompet ent or unabl e to succ eed; and (3) something doomed to fai l or disappoint (Me rriam Webster, 1994). The dictionary state s t hat the idiom sprang from st udent slang i n the mi d 1950s a nd came to signify a hapl ess person It has obviou s ne ga tiv e connota tions for the i ndivi dual it labe ls. Why, t hen, do people overwhelmin gly sup port an ent ity t ha t, in e ssenc e, has a past track r ecord o f a loser? F urt hermore, t his anomaly goes a s tep furt her. Sympat hy for underdogs may


8 exte nd beyond rooti ng for them as an ob se rve r to ac tive ly seekin g t o labe l oneself as such It is not uncommon to find tw o compe tit ors vying for t he underdog la bel to shy away from any se mblance of superiority prior to t he com peti tion i tself. In both spor ts an d politics, not i nfrequently, both compet ing part ies se em re luct ant t o hol d the label of frontrunner, and are willing or even happy to em brace t he l abel of unde rdog. Quotes like Former Vermont Gov. Howard D ean an d Se n. John Kerry of Massac huse tts le ad in the late st tracki ng pol ls in New Hamps hire, but both a re ca lli ng t hemsel ves underdogs as they r etoo l thei r campaigns in a changed polit ica l la ndsc ape (Merc urio, 2004) are plenty. This suggests that th ere is an intuitive appreci ati on that others prefer a nd sym pathiz e w ith underdogs. I t is possible t hat political leaders and others recogni ze t hat t he dict ionar y definition of the und erdog, which d enotes pending fa ilure based on unfavorabl e chances to preva il prior to t he competition, is incom plet e and tha t the see mingly irrat ional beh avior of the poli ticians quoted above i s not i rrati onal a t al l. Parti cularl y memor able or salient examples from the media and popul ar art s (e .g., lit erat ur e and ci nema ), which ofte n focus on unl ikely victorious under dogs, m ay crea te a wi desp read bel ief t hat future underdogs can wi n. Hence, lay peoples insti nctive defini tion of underdogs mi ght be much differ ent and more optimistic than those sta ted in t he dict ionar y. Spec ific ally, it is prop os ed that, in addition to acceptin g th e basic di sa dvanta ge prior to t he upcoming con test as part of th e und erdog definition people also assum e tha t if t he underdog ter m is mentioned t o describe a competition, there is an ad di ti onal com ponent of looming


9 succ ess w hich beco mes an integral p art of the construct It is import ant t o emphasize that this dual com ponent definition of th e construct does not nece ssari ly tra nspi re at the con scious deliberate lev el of process ing but rathe r at t he int uiti ve, impl ici t, bel ow awarenes s l evel o f t he co nstruct perception. Thi s i ntroduce s t he need t o st udy peoples reac tions to underdogs in domains such as mem ory and discre te fre e assoc iat ions, in orde r to tap i nto im plicit, intuitive definition of underdogs, which ma y further i lluminate underdog support Just i ce Based Mot ivations fo r Supporting Unde rdogs G iven the eviden ce that people tend to support underdogs, an obvious questi on is why. One possibi li ty is that competitions of unequal st atus ma ke justi ce co nc erns salient. In ot her words, people may ro ot for underdogs t o suc ceed a s a way to restore e quality, which may be perceived as a more jus t st ate of affairs under ex posure t o extre me pow er disparities. I n order to ex plore the jus tice motivation, Vandell o et a l. (in press) manipulat ed expe ctations t o wi n an athletic competition independe ntly of rel ati ve resource disadvantage Speci fically, participants were pre se nted wit h four vi gnett es descr ibing two sports t eams about to face each othe r. T he four vignet tes dif fe red in e ithe r: a) expe ctations for success (based on performanc e history), b) resource s (ba se d on the teams payroll s), c) both expectations and resource s such tha t the team wi th t he low expe ctations al so had the lesser pay roll, or d) expec tat ions and resources such that the


1 0 team with t he l ow expectations had the larger payroll. In t he first thre e condi tions, the clearly disadvant ag ed team (the one with a losi ng record, wit h sm all er payroll or both) was easily defined as an underdog and was ove rwhe lmi ngly support ed by the participant s. I n the las t condition, however, part ici pants expre ssed support towar ds the high expect ati ons t eam with few er resou rc es, but the y h ad som e mi sgi vings about labe ling it the underdo g ( only about 55% o f them did so). It is noteworthy tha t, among all the underd og st udies r eview ed above (e .g., Ce ci & Ka in, 1982; Frazi er & Snyder, 1991; Va ndello et al., in press), this fourt h conditi on wa s t he only scena rio in which a party with hi gh ex pectations received signifi cant support suggesti ng that the de finition of unde rdogs based solely on expectations i s i ncomple te. B ase d on thi s unique incident, it can be deduce d that unatt ached observers who are e xposed to very basic information ab out struggling unde rdo gs assume t hat t hey ar e resource disadvantaged in s ome res pect. Thi s, pre sum ably, pri mes thei r core j ustice con cerns, whi ch, in turn, drives the supp ort for the wea ker ent ity lo cked in a direct competition against a much stronger and assumed t o be privi lege d oppone nt. While this is a plausib le arg ument, it s hould be noted tha t justi ce as a m otiva tion for underdogs supp ort has gai ned only indirect support i n the study by Vandell o et a l. (in pre ss) Regrettably, t he participants in that study were not querie d direc tly about any justice con cerns that mi ght have been eli cited (and even i f they were t heir sel f report would lik ely be confounded b y s ocial desirabilit y) T hus, an underdog scenario could be thought of a s a heuristic or a short c ut for


1 1 information processing. That is, even when expec tat ions for future succe ss is the onl y piec e of info rmati on available to the unatt ached observe rs, they st ill assum e that those expe ctations are based on some material short handedne ss. Accordin gly, the fi nding s by Vandello et al. (in press) indicate that in the one condit ion in whic h it was impl ied that the underdo g squandered its res ources (i.e., the 4thc o ndition), the support for the underdog was dimi nished. This decision ma king process alm ost automa tic all y calls f or justice or fairness considerations S pecific ally, condit ions of s carcity of resources ca ll for assessm ent of re sour ce allocation based on the justice norm of dese rvi ngness (Skit ka & Te tloc k, 1992). In the studies described above (Ceci & K ain, 1982; Frazi er & Snyder, 1991; Vande llo et al., in press), unatt ached observers were ask ed to make deci si ons a bout thei r supp ort based on the parties expecta tions to win. I n each of t he st udied sce narios, only one c ompetitor cou ld triumph. It ma y be reasonable to assume, th erefore, t hat when fa ced with a situa tion of rem arkably unev en history of succe ss and fa ilure, t he unat tac hed observer is called to ex ami ne his or her inner concepts of justic e and t he di st ri bution of fa te in the wor ld. Deutsch (1985 ) labeled such a sce nario rela tive deprivat ion a viola tion of a perceived enti tlem ent, w hich serves as a dri ving force behind the enhanc ed sense of inj ustice. In ot her words, third party observe rs ma y impl ici tly i ntroduce t he sense of som e universal, gl obal fairnes s to their a ssessm ent of t he situa tion. T he y may a sk themselves most likely imp licitly than expli cit ly whe ther t he distri but ion of rewards is fair or unfair i n relatio n to both entities, as well as i n rela tion t o general principles of


1 2 justice expressed in the societal norms. S kitka a nd Tet locks (19 92) c ontingency mode l of resource di st ributi on proposes that when i ndividuals face a situation where t hey nee d to ext end thei r support to one of the two sides, they turn to attributional ana lysi s. T he questi on, then, is: a re the competitors vyi ng for their sup port pers ona lly responsible for thei r pre dica ment or not? The attribut ional analys is appears to account for t he findi ngs by Vandel lo et al. (in press), such that, once m ade aware that the underdo g a s de fined by expe cta tions to win or lose had more res ources compared to the top dog, part ici pants dim inish the ir support toward the underdo g, whi le als o struggling to clea rly labe l the two enti tie s as underdog or top dog. T hus, it appears that detached observers te nd to assume a matc h betwee n la ck of succ es s and a st ate of relative resource d eprivat ion and ba se thei r favoriti sm towards the weaker side on the perception that this dispari ty is unfair. T he support exte nded to the underdog off ers people the opportunity t o symbol ica lly re ctif y t he unjust sta te o f af fairs they perceive. It i s poss ible that the dire ct com peti tion sce nario provide s a n elem ent that shar pens t his not ion and pus hes the majorit y of pe ople t o ali gn t hemsel ves wi th the underdog. Utili tar ian Based Motivations A n other c om pe tin g explanati on for the support that non partisan observers exte nd to the underdo g m ay derive from a rather opposi te m otiva tion. Instea d of se eking justice


1 3 and trying to ev en the odds o n a moral basis, thi rd pa rty onlookers ma y be driven by rat her r ational sel f promo ting utilitarian mot ives. From this perspect ive, t he choice of sides for whom to root follows a cold, logi cal calc ulat ion (eve n i f not expl ici t one) w ith regards to which side w ould provide the biggest posit ive e moti onal pa yoff. T his calculation is deter mined by expectations for suc cess and predic ted e moti onal payoff in case the succ ess is achieved, as follows. A s t he underdog concept is based on exp ecta tions, non parti sa n obse rvers have little to lose by supporting th e underdog. Underdogs are e xpect ed to lose ( by definition) and thus, thei r l oss carries little adverse emot ional impl ica tions for thei r supporters, whe reas a wi n coul d carry immens e favorabl e consequenc es b y i ts mere unexpectedness. On the other hand, if support is extended t o the t op do g, pe ople sta nd m ere ly to lose. Top dogs are expected t o w in, but because of thi s ex pecte dness t heir win bea rs sma ller posi tive emot ional benefits (if any), while t heir l oss, bec ause of its unexpe cte dness, could be devas tat ing once they committed themselv e s. Underlyi ng this logic is an em otional cost benefit analysis intended to determine ones al ignme nts wi th one of the competing sides. Steve Spurri er, a f ormer football coach a t t he Uni versity of Florida wa s quoted aft er many years o f success : Id lik e to be the underdog a gain. ...Bei ng an under dog is a little bit more fun at timesIts almost a disgrace e very ti me we lose. It s a relief when we win inst ead of (th e feeling) w e got when we were nt supposed t o ( Engl ish, 2002 ) T he affect ive consequ en ces of ex pected a nd unexpec ted outc omes is well gro unded in Decisio n Affect Theor y (DAT; She pperd & McNulty, 2002), whic h


1 4 post ulates that hum an beings feel dis pleasure when the ir outc om es fall short of the cou nterfactual al ternative and feel elated when t h eir out come s ex ceed t he count erf actual alte rnative. In sit uations with positive or ne gati ve outcom es, expec tat ions de termine the cou nterfactual al ternative. F or example, Melle rs, Schwart z, Ho, and Ritov (1997) found that participants who took part in an experi ment si mulat ing a gam blin g seque nce wer e ove rjoyed foll owin g unexpected w ins as c ompared t o the e xpect ed ones and, by contrast, were more disappointed after unexpected l osses than a fter t he expec ted one s. Hausch and Zie mba (1995) dem ons trated a simi lar pat tern out si de of the laborat ory, in the realm of horse racing w he re betto rs tr ying to maxim ize their profi ts st ill bet t oo fre quentl y on longshots, w hich are almost never a good wage r. For exa mple longshot horse s that w in only 1% of t he ti me have 2% of the total m oney bet on t hem. Agai n, i n acc ordance with DA T princi ples, bettin g on ex treme favo rites (tho se wit h the odds bet wee n 20/1 and 10/1) to win the race is cons iderably high, but t hose super horses stil l do not garne r as much bets as they sho uld (bas ed on eventual winnin g re sul ts). She pperd and McNulty also foun d s upport for the DA T principles in a nother dom ain, in whic h expect ati ons of high versus low risk in a fictitious medical co ndi ti on were manipul ate d. Onc e agai n, expe ctations i nfluenc ed the subsequent affe ct. T he intuitive logi c of D ecision A ffect Theory can a lso be found in eve ryday expr ess ions like do nt get your hopes too high a nd expe ct t he worse a nd you will nev er be disappoi nted. It is, therefor e, plausible that non parti sa n observe rs a dopt this rat io na le t o prot ect themselves emotionall y. Note that this mot ivat ion does not requir e


1 5 peo ple to identi fy or sympathize w ith underdogs, nor does it requi re mot ives of justice to be elicited. Yet however convincing this uti li taria n approach i s, p eople t end to ove restimate self i nterest as a motive for behavi or ( Mi lle r & Ratne r, 1998 ). Underdog and the Implications for the Se lf P eople differ in thei r beliefs about inequal ity, wit h som e bel ieving t hat o ut com es shou ld be distr ibut ed more or less equally ( Pratt o, Si danius, Stal lwort h, & Mall e, 1994) but it s eems that there is s till a degree of self int erest i nvolved i n hol ding such beliefs, as indiv idual s rarely believe in jus tice, mer ely for the sa ke of justic e. Speci fica lly, those who favor equi ty in s ociety often do s o beca use they a re investe d in the folk wisdom that hard work pays off. Such a belief is adapt ive bec ause it suggests tha t ones curr ent statu s is malle able and changeable, and that one will not al wa ys be stuc k in an i nf erior posi tion. It i s l ikely not the case, ho weve r, t hat a ll pe ople de fi ne th emselve s a s underdogs and, thus, b y supporting underdogs in fa ct support the mselves, a s suggested by other res ear chers ( Markus, McG uire, Alli son, & E ylon, unpubli shed m anuscript ). T his all i nclusiv e asserti on would be too far re aching. Inst ead, it is post ulat ed that any indiv idual who functions in a s ocial setting is bound to fee l li ke an underdog (i.e., inferior rel ative to ot hers) at one time or another. Thi s e xper ie nce i s a m ajor source for the inherent ap peal of underdogs. It is likely t hat one roots for underdogs b ecause, s hould they succeed, their accomplishments are rendere d more sat isfyi ng and grat ifying by virtu e of the aug mentation principle (Kelly, 1972) t hat i s, t hey have succ eede d in spite


1 6 of seemingly overw helming obstacles. Thus, a vic tory by the und erdog make s indiv idual s feel bet ter about thems elves by reinforc ing thei r own be lie f that hard wor k in the face of a disadvantage an d adversity does inde ed pa y off. T his not ion rec eived indir ec t em pi rical support ( Vandello et al., i n press ) when pa rt ici pants watc hing a bask etball game con sistently perceived a t eam a s e xerti ng much more effort (t han its opposition ) when it was believed to be an underdog. Thus, support for underdogs based on these impli cation s for the s elf may refl ect a hybrid bet we en two moti vati ons descr ibed abo ve the j ust ice based and the utilitari an mot ives in tha t it is not purel y sel f inter est base d (because th e equity principle o f justi ce serves as it s foundat ion); ne ithe r is it distinctly justic e based as it self driven by t he aspirat ion to i mprove ones sit uation in the future. Thi s l atter motif is in contrast to the short li ved uti lit aria n m otiva tion of maximizin g emot ional pa yoffs based on mere expec tat ions. Overview of t he Pres ent Studies and Speci fic Predict ions A se ries of four ex periments was conducte d to expl ore the unde rdog phenom enon. The first stud y sou ght to explore people s spontan eous a nd unst ructured de fini t ions of underdogs by ex pl oring the semantic network of the unde rdog construct. Stud y 1 was, thus, a concert ed effort to use a sy stemat ic, re liab le and c ontroll ed met hod of exploring semantic associ ati ons to clarify the const ruct of th e underdog and t o ex plore t he argument that the schema of the construct might b e differe nt tha n the di cti onary defini tion. The second s eri es o f e xperiments (S tudies 2 3) expl ore d the hypot hesi zed l ooming success


1 7 component of bei ng an underdog. Though underd ogs do not typica l ly preva il, i t is arg ued that through selecti ve attentio n to those singul ar ones who e ventua lly do, peopl e tend to inflate the chances of all futu re underd ogs to bea t t he odds. Study 2 ex amine d this asse rtion in a straig htforw ard manner b y de pict ing unde rdogs in t he arena s of spor t, busi nes s and pol iti cs and asking participant s about thei r chanc es to prevai l (winning a game, a tender or an election respectively). In a bet we en st udy design the sa me strugg ling entities were lab eled as either disadvantaged o r underdogs It was hypot hesiz ed that after being exposed t o the under dog label (bu t not t he disadvantage d label ), parti cipants w ould be more likely t o inflate the chances of futu re suc cess for this ent ity, rel ati ve to stated odds. S tudy 3 ai med to explo re the relations hip bet we en the underdog conce pt an d winning, in acc ordance with the looming success theory de scri bed above Spe cif ically, Stud y 3 provi de d participants with narrative s about a c ompet iti vely im bala nced women s softball mat ch. I t ested the hypoth esis that people t end to a tta ch an underdo g l abel to entities that are ei ther competitively disadvant age d at the point pri or to a com petition or are c onside red at a disadvantage prior to a compet it ion but eve ntual ly wi n; but not to those who are cons i dered at a disadvantage pri or to a c ompet iti on and subseque ntly lose. Utili zing the false recognition paradigm, i t was h ypot hesize d that in the first two con ditions (i.e., in a state prior to the competi tion or a sce nario i n whic h an originally disadvant age d ent it y won the competition), the word underdog woul d be fal sely recognized more often than in the condition i n whic h a le sser cont ender e ventually lost.


1 8 L astly, Study 4 focused on the motivations behind unde rdog support. It was predicted that symp ath y for underdogs would dri ve underdog support when the disadvantage of an entity was made salient ; conve rsel y, whe n an ent itys rela tive adv antage was made salient, support for the unde rdog woul d be driven m ore by s cha de nfr eude. To test th is Study 4 mea sured p eoples at tent ional foc us whil e watching a spo rting event Sp ecifically, after prese nting part ici pants with a short ba ske tball clip of two unkno wn team s, better memory fo r t he underdog was pre dict ed in t he condition whe re it had signifi cantly fewer res ources tha n the a verage (t hus de noting t rue under dog supp ort), whil e better memory fo r the favorit e was expec ted i n t he condi tion where it had signific antly more resources than the avera ge (sugge st ing schadenfreude ) I n addition, St ud y 4 investigated poss ibl e impl ica ti ons of the underdog for self perceptions. Specificall y, it was tested whet her indi vi duals support for underdog s w as base d, at l east partly, on the perception that i f underdogs prevail the world was perceived as m alleabl e (whi ch by impl ication migh t me an that any person can be tte r his or her posi tion in the world) on a ran ge of issues not speci fi cal ly connec ted t o the c ompetition at han d. Aft er wat ching the basketball clip and l earni ng that the unde rdo g e ithe r won or lost, partici pa nt s c ompleted questionnaires mea suri ng se lf estee m and worldvi ews. I t was p redicted t hat participan ts who initiall y supporte d the underdog a nd we re exposed to the underdo g wi nning w ould report signi fi cant ly hi ghe r leve ls of st ate sel f esteem and stronger worl dvie ws that endorse mutabil ity in ge neral above and beyond thei r repor ted identification w ith t he underdo g.


1 9 Stud y 1: The Seman tic Network of the Underdog A s a n initial investigation into the meaning of unde rdo gs for laypersons, St udy 1 was exploratory This s tud y attempted to ge nerate a cogni tive m ap of associa tions to the underdog const ru ct by employing the met hod of discrete free a ssocia tions. Although the underdog effect h as been demonstrated t o be robust and rel iable (Ceci & Kain, 1982; Fra zier & Snyder, 1991; Vandello et al., i n pre ss), t he construct s me aning (i .e., what do peo ple denot e wh en they thin k about unde rdogs) has yet to be a dequate ly ex plored. Although parti cipants in studies by Vande llo and colle agues have be en asked t his very que st ion, this effort was primarily intende d as a mani pulat ion chec k to veri fy that there was an agreeme nt with regard to w hich enti ty const itut ed the unde rdog. It is als o saf e to assume that the participants perceptions of t he construc t were hi ghly influe nce d by the expe riment al vig nette or other stimuli they had j ust been e xpose d to and not ne cessa rily reflecte d t heir true and unbias ed interpret ati on of the conc ept. Moreover, a more structured and rel iable metho d to answer the que st ion at hand (than a n open ended format) is w arranted By adopting a more restri cti ve me thod used prima rily i n the memory research do main, a better gras p of wha t underdogs mea n to lay people can be atta ined. Last ly, such an exploration is ne eded since many previ ous a tte mpts to ex plor e the underdo g support (e. g., C eci & Kain, 1982; Fraz ier & Sn yde r, 1991) di d not actuall y employ th e word underd og b ut rather uti liz ed designs in which an unde rdog sc enar io of


2 0 disadvantage was created Thus the inve st igati on into t he me aning of the underdog con struct appears necessar y. T his study ut ili zed t he method used b y Nelson, McEvoy, and Schre iber (20 04) i n their attempt t o create a large normative dat abase of fre e associat es to ma ny se mantic con cepts. In thei r d ata collection, they a sked pa rt ic ipant s t o writ e the first word that cam e to thei r m ind that was meanin gfully rel at ed to, or strongly associ ate d wit h the cue wor d. For exam pl e, if given ABILITY _________, the parti cipant s m ay have wr itten COMPE TENCE on the blank next to it. T his proce dure i s c all ed a discre te a ssociation task bec ause each participant is asked to produc e only a sin gl e associa te t o each w or d. This labori ous undertaking was firs t attempt ed by Jenkins and Pale rmo (1964), although their effort was li mi ted in scope. Free a ssoci ati on data for mea ning appea red to provide a usef ul means for ind exing pr e existing st re ngth of rel ati onshi p between words. It is assumed that exposure to a familiar word im plic itl y act ivat es (i .e., prim es) words or con structs wi th sim ilar mean ing. In order t o shed light on t he semant ic m eani ng of underdog t here is a need to construct s uch an assoc iat ive m ap. N el so n et al. (2004) included all as sociat es that we re ment ioned m ore than once by the part icipant s i n the s et size of the cued word. This ef fort was addi tiona lly supp lement ed by exploring the relationship bet we en the assoc iat e and the cue i n rever se orde r, s uc h t hat once an ass ociate was menti oned by more t han one pa rtic ipant it was shown to anot her group of participants in t he sa me m anner t h at the cue was ini tially int ro duced T his enabled as sessing whether a reverse sem anti c linka ge or resonance


2 1 exist ed between the two word s. H o wever tem pting it is to infer the s trengt h of the ba ckward connec tion f ro m the forward one, one should be cautio us Th e correl at ion betwee n the two ac ross al l the samples (n = 63,619 ) in N elson et al.s studie s was only mode rate r = .29 and the chan ce s of asse ssin g back s tr engths from t he forward ones is not li kely to succ eed. In add ition, t here m ay be associa tes that are l inked dire ctly to othe r a ssoci ate s but not through the ini tial cue. When this is the case, co nne cti vity i s est ablished. T hus, based on the summati on of al l associations res onanc e and c onnect ivit y informat ion ac quir ed f rom wor ldly experien c e (Tulving, 1983), an assoc iat ive m ap is crea ted. T his lexi cal structure plays a vital role i n an y mental task involvi ng fa mi liar words. This role, i n turn, is complex and i s probably different for diffe re nt ta sks, but t he basic struc ture i s a ssumed to r emain s table whenever meaning is s ought Most word linka ge is presumabl y for med through word ex pe rience in spoken conversat ion, readi ng and thi nki ng. Di sc rete fr ee associations norms are ass umed to provide a re lia ble i ndex of sema nt ic di st ance (Nelson et al., 2004). B ase d on th e norm s collected b y Nelson e t al (2004), different words have diff erent se t si zes, with vary ing strength of the associ ati ve rela tionship, c onnect ivity and resonance. Li nks vary in strength, dir ecti on a nd direc tness (Nel son, McK inne y, Gee, & Janc zura 1 998). In es sence, ever y forward c onnect ion val ue betwee n two words in the map points to the probability that one word produces anot her under the free a ssociation instr uction and gi ven a particular sample si ze.


2 2 W h y then use f ree as sociations to get to t he mea ning of the unde rdog construct ? First, us ing free association as a procedure for m easuring stre ngt h of connec tions has a long his tory as a reliable technique (Cram er, 1968; Deese, 1965; Je nki ns & Pa ler mo, 1964; Ne lson & Schreibe r, 1992). Second, com pared t o the m ethod of rat ing pair s of wor ds for relat edness free as sociates te chnique has a few maj or advant ages. Rating s cann ot be used to determine either direct ion or so urce. A rati ng of hi gh rela tedness could be given becaus e there is a high A to B forward connec tion or be cause the re is a high B to A backward connection. This point is of importa nce for t he underdog construct explora tio n, as it was hypothes ized that the word underdog woul d produce m ostly antonyms in forw ard l inking. This w ould be the case bec ause the und erdog is forever locked in a direct competition with its archriva l, the t op dog. In additi on, none of the possible associ ates was expected to produc e the word underdog whe n they served as cues in the backward l ink ing phase. These predic tions were m ade due t o the c omple xity of the underdog const ru ct, as it was h ypothes ized t o be composed of a t lea st two mai n component s: init ial dis advantage and loomin g succ ess, a nd, t hus, no one assoc iate was expe cted to capt u re it wholly. A n under dog i s i n man y ways a story unfoldi ng: it beg ins with notab le disadvantage, bu t als o consi st s of possibly overc oming the odds (be it real or moral in nature). Thus, this presumably dynami c nat ure of the und erdog i s ha rd to be capt ur ed by one a ssociate only. Consequ entl y, t he free associ at es m ethod a ppear s to be well suited for ex ploring such complex construct O n the other ha nd, i ts valuable contributions notwithsta nding, the fre e associ ates


2 3 method a lso suffers from sev eral disadva nt ages. Primari ly, it underestim ate s t he str ength of very weak a ssoci ates as participants are a ske d to com e up wi th onl y one target word. This limitat ion i s not as sumed to be of maj or c oncern gi ven the goa l at hand. The attempt to get to the meaning or the various facet s of be ing an underdog i s a n init ial inquiry into its major buil ding blocks and, as such, th e weak associa tes are not the foc al poi nt of the investigation. Of note, N elso n and collea gues (20 04) l ame nted t he proble mat ic gen eralizabi li ty of th e cognitive map acr oss differe nt geographi c re gi ons. For example, diff erences i n l ang uage between Florida and Great Brita in proved to p roduc e differences in free as sociat ions. A s stated before, t he free ass ociation pro cedure is not without fa ults nor i s i t the only me th od t o assess connection stren gt hs. Conti nuous a ssoci ati ons and c o occurrence norms are both sui table alternatives but t heir int erpret ati on is more com plex a nd requires a more comprehensive set of assumptions before t he analysi s c an be start ed (e.g., how the answ ers are classi fied, in what rank order t he y are t reat ed, et c.). Ye t, the cent ral adv antage of the free as sociate approach i s t hat t he strengt h of a ssoci ati on between semantic conce pt s can be quantified: the probabili ty tha t, giv e n on e word or c oncept ( i.e., underdog), anot her will be produced (e.g., di sa dvanta ge or hero). The se probabilities can then be used to estab lish models of semanti c mem ory operat ion behind t he under dog con cept. I n sum, thi s free association method, whi c h empl oys condi tions of mi nimal con straint, was chosen d ue to the complexi ty at tribute d to the underdog construct. In


2 4 esse nce, the underdog concept is hy poth esi zed t o be com pose d of t wo sepa rate con structs. The first compon ent: disadvant age, was st udied pa rtia lly in a previo us expe riment by Vandello et al. (in pres s), i n whi ch part ici pants agree d that a sport team qua lified as an underdo g if its expectatio ns t o prevail in an upc oming com peti tion were low, or if it had l ower resources than its c ompeti tor o r both. T his investi gat ion aimed to illuminate anot her aspect of t he underdog c onst ruct the possibil ity fo r the looming succes s. It i s h ypothesiz ed that the use of the term underdog e nt ail s and/or triggers unrealisti c expe ctat ions to do bet ter t ha n pr eviously predicted. In addit ion, given this hy poth esize d du al nat ure of the underdog constr uct, the free associat es p rocedure was expected t o produc e discre te associa tes tha t al so s ig nif ied chan ge f rom one state of affairs to an unpredi ct ed one (e.g., wor ds such a s surprise stun or am az e may come to mind) Method P articipan ts. One hu ndred thirty students (77 women, 47 me n, 6 uniden tifi ed) from Universi ty of South Florida and P alom ar Comm unit y Col lege (i n Sa n Di ego, Cali fornia) partici pated in the und erdog forward li nki ng init ial phase task. The aver age age was 21.11 years. Fifteen (11%) report ed that Engli sh was not t he ir first l anguage, while two did not report their firs t lan gua ge. P rocedure Th e participants w ere presente d wi th a short li st con ta ining six words (see appendix A). The first word was always underdog to avoi d any primi ng by other


2 5 wor ds. The other fi ve w ords (i.e., doubt fe at hers tow park ing el ect ri c ) served as f iller s to mask the true purpose of th e study. The de cision t o emp l oy those spe cifi c words w as made because they had been used by Nelson et a l. (2004) in t heir ori gi nal n orm ative study, which all owed comparing the resul ts of the pre se nt study wi th t he irs. Pa rticipants were asked to to write in each blank the first word you thi nk of t hat m eans the same thi ng as or is st ron gly as sociated w ith the word print ed on the page. O n ce the responses were tallied and classifie d, as detai led be low, a reve rse proc ess was admi nistered: Each as sociate menti oned more than once wa s pre sented in a similar fashion to an other sample embedde d wi th other di st ract ers to mi nimi ze priming effe cts (except for those associates that we re inc luded i n the origi nal fre e association data bas e by Nel son et al., in which cas e the exi st ing data base norms we re used instead) The res pon ses were tallied and a s emant ic ma p of the c onst ruct was devel oped (see follo wing exam ple for the word planet ; Figure 1).


2 6 Figu re 1 Cog niti ve map (free discrete assoc iat es) of the word planet Adopt ed fr om Nelson et al (2004). A nal ytic Strategy The responses were n ot simpl y counte d a s i n a frequency cou nt (Kucera & Francis, 1967) bu t were clas sified b y t wo de si gnated e xperts if que st ions of classifica ti on arose. First, cue s et size (QSS) was com puted by c ount ing the number of diff erent responses given by two or more pa rtic ipant s i n the norm ati ve sa mple Nelson et al. ( 2004) found t hat some words have set si zes of 1.00 (e.g., lef t has only one associated right ) whi le ot he rs have set s izes of 30 or more t arget s (e. g., f armer ). Next, fo rw ar d stre ngth (FSG ) was computed by dividing the nu mber of part ici pants producing a particular response by th e number of parti cipant s servi ng in the t otal group norming the wor d (i.e., proport ion). Backw ard strengt h (BSG) wa s a ss essed next where upon the underdog a ssociat es served as cues th emselves, to produc e associa tes/ta rget s. BSG w as


2 7 calculated in the same manner as F SG. Addi tiona lly, indi rect connect ions we re explored. Sp ecifica ll y, F SG and BS G represent measures of direc t strength be cause one word dire ctly produces the other as an as sociat e in fre e associa tion. Indire ct c onnect ions, on the other h and, l ink between related w ords t hat oc cur through ot her words. Thu s, mediated stren gth (MS G) was calculated by c ross mult ipl yi ng the i ndi vidual li nks and then summing t he res ults across each link. Nelson et al. i ndica ted t ha t whil e som e wor d pair s have no su ch connections others have a s m any as 17. Results F ourteen responses wer e excluded from the ana lysis as parti cipant s di d not fol low the instructi ons (7 provided two ass ociat es ra ther t han one, 2 were i lle gible and 5 ret urned the form blank), five of which were student s who report ed that Engli sh w as not their firs t lan guage. The remaining 116 a ssocia tes were a nalyzed. O f thos e, 46 words were mentioned only once (i .e., by one part ici pant e ach) and thus were ex cluded from the cue set size T wo a ssoci ate s, undercat and topdog were mentioned t wice each, but were excluded from furthe r analyse s as the y we re deter mined to be a non word o r a tw o word idiom, respect ive ly. For e ach of the m, one re sponse was given by a parti cipan t wh ose firs t langua ge wa s not Engli sh. A cco rding t o t he a priori determination that t he responses would not just be cou nted as a frequ ency count, so me associ ate s a nd thei r derivat es we re grouped together. This procedure i nfl uenced only three associ at es: Lose a nd losers ea ch repo rt ed once,


2 8 were coupled with l oser ; swinging and swings each re ported once we re adde d to swing ; and finall y, wi n which w as also mentioned once wa s a dded to wi nne r As a result, the QSS (Cue set size) of underd og w hich inc luded 66 answers wa s com pose d of 10 diff erent associ ates, each mentioned mo re than onc e: l ose r wi nner c art oon swing hero weak team rookie footb a ll cat and favorite N ex t, forward st rength (FS G) for each associa te was com put ed (see Figur e 2). This was achieved t hrough the divis ion o f the num ber of parti cipa nts who produced a particular response by th e number of parti cipant s who served i n the nor mi ng sa mple ( i.e., prop ortion). The associate loser had the highest f orward stre ngth wi th a va lue of .19 (22 responses out of 116); winner and car too n had a va lue of .08 ea ch (10 responses out of 116). Swing had a forward stren gth of .04 (5 out of 116 re sponses), whil e hero team cat football and weak all had a forward st rength va lue of .03 (3 out of 116 t otal answ ers ). Lastly, roo kie and favor ite had a value of .02 (2 responses ea ch out of 116). N ex t, the backw ard strength (BS G) of eac h of the a sso ci ates was explored in orde r to find out whether an y was linked ba ck to the word underdog All but ro okie were foun d to have been alr eady n ormed by Nelson et a l. (1998) and none were found to have underdog a s t he ir associate. Eighty eight additi onal part ic ipant s pa rt ici pate d in the norming of the word rookie us ing it as a cue. Aga in, the word underdog wa s not mentioned as a tar get in respons e to rooki e by any of the respond ers. T he foll owing wor ds were found t o be rookie s as sociates: baseball new beg i nner amate ur prof es sional sport veteran starter player boy novi ce y ear and fi rst .


2 9 T he connect ivity of the cue, or the indirect rela tionship a mong assoc iat es and t he target was ex plored nex t. Mediated s tren gt h (MSG), som eti mes cal led 2 ste p st r eng th in the memory l it erature, was calculated b y cross mu lti plying the indivi dua l li nks and then sum ming t he result s acro ss each link. B ecause un derdog was neve r m enti oned as an associate, t he MSG was computed to have a va lue of 0. Discus sion Th e hypot hesis that using underdog as a c ue in forward li nking would el ici t associates, w hi ch describe both an initial i nferior positi on and an e leme nt of loo ming succ ess was supported. The s trongest associa te was loser consiste nt wi th t he common dictionary defin it ion s of the underdo g d enoting one t hat l ose s espec ial ly consistently, one who is incompet ent or unable to succeed doomed t o fa il or di sa ppoint (Merria m Web ste r, 1994). This associate repres en ted t he init ial st ate of affairs by which t he weaker entity, ultimat ely termed the underdog, wa s det ermi ned to be in a ma rked disadvantage. The associat e w ith t he next h ighest strength was the wi nner (whi le cartoon ha d a streng th value identi cal t o w inner, it was clearly el ici ted i n referenc e to t he com ic stri p fi g ure, and thus it woul d not be dis cus sed in the present cont ext ). Wi nner st ands i n sh arp contrast to loser (the tw o are i ndeed connected as associa tes of ea ch othe r i n Ne lson et a l.s nor ms) representing one t hat wins especially through pra isewort hy abil i ty and ha rd wor kone that wins adm irati on (Merriam Webster, 1994). The third strongest a ssoci ate d as defined by the fo rw ard linking stren gth wa s swing Thi s a ssoci ate a ppeare d to be derived


3 0 from regional j ar gon as in California w he n childre n push e ach o t her on swings they often run u nder t he person on the swing and call t his an underdog swi ng T he tension am on g th e two opposing compon ents, disadvant age, on the one hand, and looming success, on the other, was also present i n the sec ond tier of wea ker ass ociates. Specifically, it ap peared that whi le we ak and rookie si gni fied di sa dvantag e, or being new i nexperienced and unfami lia r t o a new socia l environm ent, he ro mig ht hav e represented higher statu s and esteem I n sum, the sem antic stru cture that emerg e d in the forwa rd linki ng pha se provided som e s upp ort to the conflicting nature of the under dog a nd att ested t o its mut able natur e, in contras t wi th the fixed ex isting dictionary defin iti ons. Also, as hypothesiz ed, in the back ward li nki ng phase (BSG), non e of the m enti oned associat es trac ed bac k to underdog A rg ua bl y, this pattern of res ul ts also em erged bec ause to the dual na ture of the underdo g concep t (i.e., disadvantage and loom ing succe ss), as no one associate w as able to fully capt ure its s hifting n ature. T hough the p roposed notion is that underdog is seen a s a n e ntity in flux, in esse nce tr ansform in g its elf from a loser to a winne r, alt ernat ive int erpret ati ons of the results need to be co nsidered as well. As parti cipa nts we re not instruc ted spec i fically to define the underdog in one word, but rather were a ske d to thi nk of an assoc iat ed word, it is pos sible t ha t indi viduals who were thi nking of the unde rdog, came up wi th associates with negative valan ce (i.e., los er weak ), while those who provi ded more posi tive associates (i.e., wi nner her o ) were imag ining it s a ntagoni st the top dog, a s t he two are


3 1 defined by thei r direct competition. Whi le c ertai nly pla usi ble, t his interpre tat ion is less con vincing b ecause, if true, one would expec t ma ny more p a rt ici pants to na me the words frontrunner or f avorite as the as sociates, rat her tha n providing the top dogs qualities such as winner or hero In order to rule out thi s a lt ernati ve int erpreta tion, t he looming succ ess qual iti es of the underdog were ex plor ed in a more di rect manner, i n St udy 2. Figu re 2 Cog niti ve map (free discrete assoc iat es) of the word underdog Num ber s den ote forward st rength (FS G).


3 2 S tudy 2: Th e Looming Success of the Unde rdog Di rect Inve st igat ion P eople are com pe lled to categorize in orde r to ma ke sense of the world t hey l ive in, so they can navigate it more efficient ly (Ni sbe tt & Ross, 1980; Ross, 1977). In making such deci si ons, people automatical ly assess t he ext ent t o whi ch the e ntity in que stion se ems t o fi t one or another category. This process is referre d to as the representat ive heu ri stic (Kahneman & Tversky, 1 972), whic h impl ies tha t a me mber of a given categ ory ou gh t to resemble the category protot ype or schema This strat egy is effe ctive as lon g as there is some validity t o the pr ototype a nd t he m embers of the categor y cluster around the prototyp e. By emplo yi ng this short cut pe ople l imi t their cog nitive ex pendi ture and conserve import ant li mi ted resource s. Howe ver, people tend to fo cus excl usi vely on a s tro ng match bet we en an ent it y a nd i ts cat egoric al protot ype and by doing so t end t o ignor e other s ources of informat ion. Another possi ble va luable source of info rmati on is bas e rates of r elati ve freque ncy (Kahnema n & Tve rsky, 1973), although t he base r ate information als o tends to be underwei ght ed. N isb ett, Borgi da, Crandall, and Reed (1976) sugge st ed tha t the ba se rate information is ig nored in favor of individuat ing inf orm ati on because t he forme r is remote, pall id and abstract whereas th e l att er is vivi d, sa lie nt and conc rete (p. 24). Underdogs, in essence, are defin ed b y their ba se rate for fut ure succe ss. Whe ther def ined by betting pe rcentages ex perts opinion s, or hi st or y of pa st failur e/succe ss, the y all


3 3 den ote a markedly l ower c hance to prevai l in a compe tit ion agai nst a favori te. Hence, whe n peopl e are making decisions about future suc cess and have no ne w i nformation that mi ght potenti ally change the balance of powe r, they should unequi vocal ly predi ct a frontrunner suc cess. Ho wever, in the present stu dy i t was hypothesiz ed tha t when ones explicit underdog status was made salient people woul d revert t o the prot otype. The sche ma in this case, it is proposed, is not the a ggregati on of all encount ered underdogs of the past but o nly a ver y select few. The di vidin g l ine be tween which unde rdogs are and are not remember ed is based on their eventu al succe ss. Thi s hypoth esize d m echanism is prop elled by t he popular media that contribute s t o creat ing a c olle cti ve iden tit y a round underd ogs w ho happened to triumph and suc h instance s t hus be come unde rdog exemplars. Al l the while, underdo gs who lose are dime a doze n and thus are di scounted and do not ente r t he pool from which the re pre se ntat ives are sam pled. T his process in essence d emons trates the a vail abil it y heuri st ic where upon people ofte n judge t he li kelihood of an event ba sed on how rea dily pe rt inent exam ples come to mi nd Ag ain, as in the case of the represent ative heuristi c, typi cal ly those cognitive shortcuts serve us right as th ere is often correspondenc e bet wee n like lihood a nd avai lability. However, when it comes to underdogs (who a re not supposed to win by definition and odds) the availability mem ory bi as is in stark c ontrast with t he reality of the likelihood of t he underdog triumph. S lovic Fischoff and Lichtendtein (1982) demonstra ted t he powe r of the medi a in perpetuatin g the av ailability heuristic. The ir study is of great import ance to the present


3 4 investigation due to the similar mass communic ati on m echa nism propose d. S ome new s, these res ear chers argued, receive more covera ge bec ause of thei r spe cta cula r a nd telegenic natur e. For example, a tornado or a flood is muc h more li kel y t o be shown on the evening news than a lightning strike. Thus, pa rti cipant s a re more l ike l y to ove restimate t he commonness of causes of de ath result ing from t he former whil e discounting t he latt er. T he availabil ity and the representative heuri st ics somet ime s work in ta ndem as sugges ted i n the present case. A judgment that two things bel ong t ogethe r underdogs and winning can make an instance in whi ch the y do i ndeed co o ccur part icul arly avai lable. T he joint effect of the tw o heuri st ics cre ate s a n ill usory corre lat ion between two variabl es and the belief that they are i ndeed c orre lat ed w hen the y are not. Infr equent even ts a re hi ghl y di stinctive and, thus, whe n the overwhel ming underdog surpris es its mi ghty favorit e, thi s usually garners much i ntere st in the medi a and ca ptures people s atte ntion and thoughts. Underdogs w ho fa il nee d not be t he focus of att enti on as they are indistinct. I n St udy 2, partici pants were exposed to ei ther a st ruggl ing poli ti cian, bu si ness entity, or a sport s t eam about to contend with a fo rm idabl e riva l. The y were consistently desc ribed in t he vig nette as ei ther underdog or di sa dvanta ge d ent iti es. The hypothesis of t he looming success component wa s ex plored by asking pa rt ici pants dire ctly to eval uate th e chances of th e underdog or t he di sadva nta ge d side t o pr evail in the compet iti on against a 30% pre diction of suc cess a s pre dict ed by an ex pert in the


3 5 vignette. The hypothesis was that when p eople re ad about disadvant aged entities, their predictions would be so mewhat favorabl e as ther e is som e evi dence t hat o ptim ism pervades peoples thinking about t he future ( Bri ckm an, Coate s, & Ja noff Bul man, 1978; Mar kus & N urios, 1986; Tiger, 1979). However, part ici pants who re ad about strugg ling entities as underdogs would have acce ss the avai lable underdog heuri st ic and thus their rating should surpass sig nificantly not only th e base rat e refle cte d by the e xperts opinion, b ut also the optimistic predicti ons of t heir count erpart s who read a bout disadvant ag ed entities A se cond p redict ion was related to the cha ract eriz ati on of the ent iti es as an un derd og and/or at a dis ad vantage, such tha t when the compet ing side was spec ifically l abeled in the text as either an underdog or disadvant aged, pa rtic ipants would be likely to foll ow the ch aracterization and endorse i t as such. Ove rall no differences in t he doma ins (i.e., politics bu sines s and sport ) wer e predic ted, t he use of three domains was i ntended for g eneralizability of the f indings. Method P articipan ts. One hu ndred and s eventy five pa rtic ipant s com plet ed que stionnai res i n class sessions in exch ange for cl ass c redit s. Sixt y stude nts (40 females, 19 males and one w ho did not report gende r) re ad a pol iti cal sc enario que st ionnair e in a single class sessi on (30 participants per each cond iti on). Six ty st udents (48 females, 11 males and 1 who did not repo rt gender) rea d a sports sc enario i n two se parat e cl ass


3 6 sessi ons (30 partici pants per each condition) and 55 stude nts (27 femal es, 25 males and thre e who did not report gender) read a busi ness vi gnett e in t hre e separa te c lass sessions (28 read about u nderdogs w hile 27 abou t disadvant aged e ntit ies). P rocedure. Parti cipants read one of six possibl e vignett es. Two vignet tes dep icted enti tie s with low probabilities for suc ce ss in an upc oming sport ma tch, tw o other versions port rayed comparable condition s i n the dom ain of poli tic s, whil e the l ast tw o desc ribed a si mil ar business scenario (se e Appe ndix B). The only differe nce be tween vignettes in each field was that one included t he word unde rdog i n the te xt, while its cou nterpa rt had the word underdog s ub sti tute d wit h the word disadvantage and its derivates. Parti cipan ts were told that the vignet te was an a rtic le downloade d from the Inte rnet an d t hat the researchers w ere int erested i n people s opi nions about socia l competitions. In each of the six condit ions (sport/ poli ti cs/ busi ness unde rdog/ disadvantage d), t he text stated that expert s had pre dict ed that the l ow proba bili ty entity was 3 0% li kely to ov erco me its opponen t. Parti cipant s were aske d to give thei r ow n asse ssment of t he probab ility of winn ing a fter re ading the vignet te (be twe en 0 100% ), how muc h they supported it in comparison to the top dog on a 5 point sca le from not at all to support fully (in the business vignette the sca le was modifi ed to a sc ale of 1 to 9 for eac h of the enti ties), a nd then to indicate whe ther t hey thought t hat t he depi cte d entity was d is advant aged ( Yes/ Dont know/ No ) a nd whe ther the y considered i t as an underdog ( Yes/ Dont know/ No ) (see appendix B).


3 7 Results L ooming Success First, the main hypothesis of the l oomi ng succ ess of the underdog was ex plored. A two way bet wee n groups a nalysis of varia nce was conducted to explore the i mpact of labeling of the l esse r e ntit y and type of sce nario on l ooming succ ess esti mat ions. As pred icted, there was a st at istic all y s igni ficant mai n effect f or labe l, F (1, 169) = 5.5, p < .05, such that unde rdogs were pre dict ed to do signifi cantl y better ( M = 44.31, SD = 19.3) than disadvanta ged ( M = 37.72, SD = 17.98). How ever the effec t size was small (partial eta s quared = .032). The mai n effect for sc enario [ F ( 2, 169) = 0.88, p > .05] and the interaction effe ct [ F (2, 169) = 0.40, p > .05] did not reach stati stical sig ni ficance. I n addition one sample t tests w ere conduct ed ac ross the three dom ains to assess if the loomi ng succ ess estimations w ere signifi can tly diffe rent t han the ba se rate of succ ess as denot ed by the experts opinions. Thi s was the c ase for the unde rdog, t (87) = 6. 95, p < 05, as well as for th e disadvanta ged, t (86)= 4.0, p < .05. T he sam e analyses were con ducted separately for each domai n. As sh own in Figure 3, i n polit ics, those w ho were exposed to t he underdog scenario t hought that he would do si gnific antl y be tter ( M = 42%, SD = 21.44) t han th e experts predic tion of 30%, t (29) = 3.07, p < .05. The pred iction of success made by the participant s who rea d about the disadvant aged cand idate was not significantly different ( M = 34.83%, SD = 18.68) t han tha t made by the expe rts, t (29) = 1.42, p > .05. I n business t his patt ern repe ated i tself, wit h those expos ed to the underdog vig nette, predicting signi fica ntl y m ore success ( M = 46.96%, SD =


3 8 18.02) than expert s predictions, t (27) = 4.98, p < .001. In contrast, t hose exposed to the disadvantaged ent ity ( M = 37.48, SD = 19.88) we re not di fferent t han the pred ictions made by ex perts, t (26) = 1.96, p > .05. Lastl y, in Sports, the underdog exposed group thought tha t the weaker team w ould do si gni fica ntl y be tte r ( M = 44.13, SD = 18.54) than the experts predi cti ons, t (29) = 4.18, p < .001. The predi cti ons of s ucc ess m ade by the participant s w ho read about the disadvant aged tea m were al so signi fica ntly m ore positive ( M = 40.83, SD = 15.36) than thos e of the expe rts, t (29) = 3.86, p < .001. Figu re 3 Project ed success as a functio n of label ing and dom ain.


3 9 S u pport When participants were asked how muc h they supported t he poli ti cal chal lenger on a scal e from 1 ( Not at all ) t o 5 ( Fully support ), overa ll, t hey were som ewhat support ive of the challenger ( M = 3.15, SD = 1.01, with 3 be ing neut ral). However parti cipan ts were not more supporti ve of the underdog c ontende r ( M = 3.20, SD = 1.00) as compared to those who read about a disadvantage d candida te ( M = 3.10, SD = 1.03), t (58) = .38, p > 05. W h en parti cipants were as ked how much the y supporte d the we ake r tea m i n the sport domai n on a scale f rom 1 ( Not at all ) t o 5 ( Full y support ), t hey were somewhat supp ortive of the challenger ( M = 3.83, SD = .97). Those who were exposed to the underdog c ont ender ( M = 3.73, SD = 1.2 ) did not di ffer in support from t hose who read abo ut a disadvant aged candidate ( M = 3.93, SD = .65), t (58) = .78, p > .05. I n the bus in ess scenario, a difference support score wa s com puted (support for the underdog minus sup port for the top dog). There wa s no signifi cant differe nce i n the computed difference when th e entity w as labe led a s unde rdog ( M = 0.11, SD = 2.63) and whe n it was l abeled as disadvantaged ( M = 0.44, SD = 2.33), t (53) = .82, p > .05. L abeling When participants read the un derdog version across the t hree do mai ns 42 out of 88 (48%) thought that he w as di sa dva ntage d, whi le onl y 21 (24%) t houg ht he was n ot. The rest (25) were not sure. On the othe r hand, when asked about whether the con tender was an und erdog, 65 out of 88, or 74%, t hought that he quali fied for th e definition, while 5 (6 %) dis agreed and 18 reporte d that they di d not know (20%). A mong the other h alf who read the dis advantaged vigne tte 44 out of 87 parti cipa nts (51%)


40 thought the l esser candidate was disadvant aged, while 23 disagreed (26%) a nd 20 (2 3% ) were not sur e. When queried about his underdo g st atus, 65 out of 87 (75%) agreed that he was an unde rdo g, while 13 (15%) objec ted and 9 (10%) di d not know. Discus sion T he hypot hesis that th e use of the word underdog (as opposed to disadva ntaged ) to describe a weak er entity would elicit a hi gh er perce ived l ikeli hood of wi nning in an upc oming comp eti tion than ex perts predic tions was support ed. Al though thi s was evident across a ll do mains in politics and busine ss the di spa rity i n assessme nts was par ticularly strong In s ports, the difference was ma rginal As hypothesiz ed, participants predicted d oing bett er than the initial odds for bot h the di sa dvanta ge d and the underdog, but estimat es for the latter w er e greater t ha n the form er. T hese result s r e inforced findings by other a uthors (e.g., Ni sbe tt e t al ., 1976) sugges ting that people disregard bas e rates and c hoose to com e up wi th the ir own estimations of future occurrences. Howeve r, these da ta suggest tha t part ici pants decided to do so especiall y i n the case of a weak er ent ity la bele d as an underdog. T hese result s a lso i mply that the prototype of an unde rdo g (form ed throu gh memorable exa mples of ins pirational, vict orious unde rdogs i n history, cult ure and sports) is one that beats the odds. Partici pants pre sum ably ca lle d on this protot yp e when asked to estimate the l ikelihood of succes s of hypothet ic al underdogs in t he present scenarios, prov iding more opti mistic estimates than the oddsm akers. It is im portant t o note that


4 1 peo ple were not so optimis tic as to believe that t he underdog was a t op do g, a s th e average est imat e of s uccess never reached t he 50% ma rk i n any of the vignet tes.


4 2 S tu dy 3: Th e Looming Succes s of the Unde rdo g A Rec ogniti on Task B artlett (1 932 ) was the first to make the di stinc tion be tween reproduc tive and reconstructi ve mem ory. The former is the rot e producti on of mat erial from me mory, whe reas the lat ter refers to active processi ng of fi lli ng in mi ssing el eme nts whi le atte mpting to recal l. It is assumed that when peopl e try t o r emem ber ma teri al ri ch in mea ning and detail (e.g., video footage, text or pr ose), t his effort i s ch aract eriz ed by reconstructi ve process es Loftus and Palm er (1974) demonstra ted the flaws of reconstructi ve mem ory in their seminal work about t he s e mant ic i ntegrat ion of verbal information int o the visual memory. The ir part icipa nts we re more l ikely to fal sely remembe r seein g brok en glass from an acc ident t hey watc hed a week a go whe n asked whe ther the cars sma shed into each other as oppo se d t o coll id ed bumped or contacted This finding ma kes evident that the context (e ven if onl y de fined by a word chos en to desc ribe the acc ident) is influencing reconstruct ive m emory and t he dire cti on of the false memories is in li ne with the expectations set forth b y t his contex tual informat ion. B ran sford and Fr anks (1971) tested the idea s of Ba rtle tt by ex posi ng t heir participant s t o vari ous senten ces and then asking the m whether t hey were nove l or par t of the acquisiti on list. Results indicated that partic ipant s s ponta neousl y inte grate d the information ex pressed by a number of non consec utive ly expe ri ence d but sema ntically rel ated sen tences into holistic ideas, w hereupon the y e ncompassed more information than


4 3 any acquisi tion sentence contained. In a ddi ti on, p artic ipant s fe lt m ost confident rec ognizing sentences w hich expres sed al l the se mant ic rel ati ons c harac teri st ic of a complete idea, in spite of the fact that su ch sentenc es expressed more i nformat ion than was communicat ed by any single s entenc e in the ac qui si ti on l ist. Thus, the notion of the superiority of i dea acquis ition and reten tion ove r the i ndividua l sentenc e me mory rece ived empi ri cal support. T hus, it appears that people are likely to reme mber t he genera l ide as or the gi st but not the exa ct wo rds used to express these ide as (Sa chs, 1967) or t he mi nute details of the gist. To fi ll i n the gaps p eople often i nfe r or assum e what happ ened. Possible sources of such false memories are varied and ca n be drive n by indire ct or suggestive remarks by othe rs (Loftus & P almer, 1974), direc t suggestions (Loftus, 1979) or infe rence s base d on prior knowledge or sc hema s. S chemas are structured r epres entations of obje cts, eve nts, indivi duals, so cia l role s, or an y ot her type of co ncept which conta ins represent ati o ns of both obj ects and their predicat es (r elations between objects, at tribut es, etc .), where rela tions ca n be causal, func tional, them ati c, social, etc. Es tabli she d sch emas repre se nt the gi st of several insta nces of the same concept. Each time we enc ount er a new i nst ance of a concept, it is incorporated i nto the schema. Schemas det ermine wha t we reme mber a s a n instance of a con cept, for how long w e remember it, and how avai labl e the informat ion is. Schemas also provide ex pectations so that when we enco unt er a new insta nce of a concept, we do not have to process all of the information, but c an instea d rely on t he informa tio n alr eady


4 4 con tained in t he schema to do mos t of the work. Al terna tive ly, whe n a new ca se, which is miss ing an im portant component of the alre ady well e st abli she d sch ema, is enco untered, we ma y fill the gap automati cally. D eese (1959) and later Roediger and McDerm ott (1995) m ast erfully demon st rated these proce sses in th eir well design ed st udies. Parti cipant s were aske d to study list s of 12 wor ds (e .g ., white dark cat charr ed night f uneral color grief blue deat h ink bottom coa l brown gray ) while each list was composed of associa tes of one non repre sented target word (e. g., black ). U pon immediat e free re cal l te st s, t he n on presente d targets were falsely r ecalle d 40% of the time and we re la ter re cogniz ed wi th high c onfi dence. In a se cond phase, after increasing the num be r of se ts of lists in t he lea rning stage, participant s had a staggering false recall rat e of 55% and on a l ate r recogni tion tests participant s produced fals e alarms to the se i tem s a t a ra te sim ilar t o the hi t rat e. In sum mary, these aut hors concluded that ex tra li st intrusions and t he resulti ng fals e memories creat ion under s ch ema conditions a nd cognit ive overl oad was a robust and signific ant phenomenon to be reckoned wi th. T he fa ls e mem ory paradigm provided an other opport unity to furt her explore the underdog const ru ct. As looming success i s predi cte d to be an i nte gra l part of the underdog const ru ct, it was pos tulated that, when rea ding bogus artic les about a competing entity with low expectations for success (wi thout m enti oning the word underdog in the text), participant s w ould falsely remember se eing t he word unde rdog unde r cert ain circumstances. M ore specifically, this study teste d whe ther part ici pants were more likely


4 5 to fal sely remember seeing th e wo rd underdog in a st ory describin g a disadvant aged te am that eventual ly won (vs. los t). It was hypothe si zed tha t: (1) pa rt ici pants in t he Underdog Be f ore Compet iti on and the Underdog Who La ter W ins condit ions woul d ha ve hig her fal se recogni tion rat es for the word underdog a s c ompare d to parti cipa nts in the Underdog Who Later L oses condition; ( 2) pa rtic ipant s i n the Underdog Before Competition and the U nderdog Who Later Wi ns c onditi ons would have longer reaction time s on the underdog recognition trial as com pared to t hose in the Underdog Who Later Loses con diti on; (3) participants in the Underdog Before Com peti tion and t he Under dog Who La ter Wins conditi ons would be s igni fic antl y l ess c onfident i n thei r underdog false recognition decision than thos e who w ere exposed to t he Underdog Who La ter Loses con dition (in other words, those who corre ctly re mem ber not seei ng the word underdog in the Underd og Who Late r Loses condition wi ll be more c onfi dent t han those i n the other two condit ions, w ho w ill be more likel y to fa lsely rem embe r). Method P articipan ts. One hu ndred students partici pate d in the st udy. Afte r close scrut iny responses from ei ght participants w ere eli mina ted due t o eit her not com plying with or fai li ng to understand the directions. O f t he rema ini ng pa rtic ipant s, t he avera ge age was 19.96 years (SD = 2.62). Seventy four pa rtic ipant s were fe mal es whi le 18 were males. P rocedure U pon entering the lab, partici pants were t old tha t the stud y explored reading com pr ehension and spatial abilitie s. T hey we re tol d b y t he resea rch assistant that


4 6 ther e were t hree phases to the experiment : (1) readi ng two text passage s (see Appendix C), (2) complet ing tw o pencil and paper maz e tasks, eac h to be c omplet ed i n 30 seconds, and (3) an swerin g a computer based questi onnaire a bout the text s t hey had rea d in the first phas e. P arti cipan ts were seated in front of a computer m onitor a nd were assi gned t o read one of t hree possible vignettes pres ented to t hem using Superl ab st imul us pre se ntation software provi ded by Cedrus (www .cedrus. com). The se vignet tes (se e Appendix C) dep icted eit her (1) a team with a s lim likel ihood of suc cess about to fa ce a might y rival in an i mportant m atch, (2) a team with a slim like lihood of success that face s a might y rival in an important game and wins or (3) a te am with a sl im l ikel ihood of success that loses an important gam e to a migh ty rival. All ot her conte nt was kept as ide ntic al a s possible. Thirty two part icipants were exposed to t he before c ompet iti on vignett e, twent y nine read about a surprise win of the w eaker te am, whil e thi rty one rea d a scena rio about the weaker team losin g. N one of the vignett es in the three c onditi ons i n cluded t he wor d underdog Parti cipants were given as much t ime as they want ed to rea d the t ext. N ex t, all partici pants read an additional t ext whic h se rved as a distra cte r (see Appendix C) and were th en administered two distrac ter m aze tasks t o be com pl eted in 30 seconds each ti med b y the res earch ass istant Al l ma zes were 8 x 8 inc h rect angular shap ed. The distracter tas k was planned suc h that wi thin t he ti me al lott ed for the task participant s w oul d be un able to solve the maz e. T he rati onale i n com pl eti ng this phase was t hat reco gni tion memor y is t ypicall y very st rong and, thus, at l east m inim al time had


4 7 to elapse in order for possible false memori es t o be cre ate d (R oe diger & Mc De rmott, 1995). F ollowing the maze d is tracter task, a brief pra cti ce was admi nistere d si mul ati ng the upcoming r ecog nitio n task. S pecifica lly, part ici pants were shown six gra phic sym bols on t he computer screen (all on one ac quisit ion slide), a fter which t hey were aske d to reco gni ze t he symbols pres ented one a t a t im e in a seri es of fol lowing slides indic ating w hether t hey appeared or not i n the ori ginal a cquisit ion screen. Part icipants were instru cted to place their index fingers on e ithe r the L ke y (denoti ng Ye s ) or the A key (denoti ng No ). In order to maintain uni form it y, pa rtic ipants were a ske d to keep their fingers on the respective keys at all times duri ng the e xperim ent. In addi tion, a dhesive stick ers were placed on two adjacent keys to help partic ipant s re memb er thei r functions (Yes on a ke y adjacent to the L key No on a key adj ace nt to t he A key). U p on compl etion of the practice items, pa rtic ipant s were ask ed to rem ember the competition vig nette they had read in the first phase of t he expe ri ment Ne xt, the y were presented wi th a series of words, each pre sent ed on a se parat e sc reen, a nd asked to indic ate whether t hey w ere novel or whet her they had appe ared in t he origi nal t ext. The wor d underdog always appeared third on th e li st so t hat part ici pants had re ceived some practice before en countering the underdog sti mulus (while on the othe r hand, keeping prim ing by ot he r sti muli to a minimum). In total ten re cognit ion it ems we re presented in thi s phase, five of which had appeared in the ori ginal vignett e while five were novel. Imm ediately following the recogni tion task, during whic h the part ici pants rec ognition


4 8 deci sion (Yes/ No) and reaction time were re corded, pa rtici pants were a lso asked to rate their confidence w it h regard to their recogniti on deci si on for t he underdog A 4 point rat in g s cale was used, wi th 4 = Very confi dent, 3 = Confi dent 2 = Some what confident and 1 = N ot sure at all In ad dition, as a ma nipula tion c heck, part ici pants we re asked who won the game. Results T he first hypothesis w as that participants would be m ore li kely t o fa lsely re membe r readin g th e w ord under dog when the vignet te: a) describe d a com petition whe re the outcome was n ot yet know n, and b) aft er the we aker ent it y surprisingly won, but not after the weaker entity lost. This hypothe si s was not supporte d: There were no dif f erences i n f alse recognition rates for the unknown outc ome (Underdog Before) con dition (9 ti mes out of 32, or 28%), aft er the we aker ent ity surprisingly won (Under dog Afte r Win; 4 ti mes out of 29, or 14%), or aft er the wea ker ent ity lost (Underdog Af ter L oss; 7 tim es out of 31, o r 23 %),2( 2 ) = 1.87, p > .05. T he secon d hypot hesis predicted that s ignifi cant ly more tim e woul d be requ ired to make the deci si on of whether the word underdog appea red in the outcom e unknown (Underdog Before) or surprising win (U nd erdog Aft er Wi n) sce narios, as com pared to the aft er los ing (Underdo g A fter L oss) scenario. E xam inati on of the di st ributions of the reac tion ti me values revealed both lack of normal it y a nd t he ex istence of outli ers. Five extre me val ues were eliminated. Reaction t imes distri butions are not oriously non nor mal


4 9 by their very nat ure, and the us e of transformat ions has been a common a nal yt ical app roach in t hi s fi eld. Based on the shape of the distribut ion (positi vely skewed, with most values c oncentr ating a t the low er end of di st ributi on), a natura l log t ransformation was applied to t he original reaction time mea sures (Ta bachni ck & Fidel l, 2001). The chan ges in the skewness and kurtosis of the re acti on ti me vari able can be see n in Table 1. Ta bl e 1. Mea n Sc ores and Nor mality indicators of t he Re action Time V ari able, prior to and fol lo w ing Log transfor mation M (S D) Skewness (SE) Kurtosis (SE) Rea ction Ti me 1669.24 (906.65) 2.41 (.25) 7.64 (.50) Rea ction Ti mel n3 .1 5 (.15) .18 (. 26) .52 (.51) A one way betw een group ANOV A using t he log t ransform ed rea cti on ti me values reve aled that there w as no main e ffect of type of scenari o on the re act ion time of responding t o t he und erd og item, F (2,84) = .54, p > .05 (se e Fi gure 4). T he third hypothesis was that participant s would be si gnific antl y m ore co nfident whe n makin g the decision with regard to whethe r the word underdog appea red in the Underdog A fter a Lo ss condition than in ei ther Underdog Before a Compet iti on or Underdog A fter a Win s cenarios A one way bet ween group ANOVA reve ale d no main effe ct of the conditi on on the confidence leve l, F ( 2,89) = 2.34, p > .05 (se e Figur e 5) .


5 0 Figu re 4 Mean reaction times (after Log tr ansform ati ons) i n response t o the Underdog item, across 3 condi tions. Figu re 5 Confidence ratings in for Underdog it em re cognit ion, across condi tions.


5 1 F inally, a ma ni pulation check rev ealed that 10 pa rtic ipant s (9.2%) were unsure o f the outcome of the game after answerin g t he questions while 21 pa rtic ipant s (23% ) made mi stakes in stati ng t he outcome. Analyses based on only those pa rtic ipants who were correct in the m anipulation check als o reve ale d no support for a ny of the hypot heses. Discus sion N o ne of the proposed h ypothes es was support ed i n t his st udy. T he fal se recognition rates for the word underdog we re not di fferent across t he condi tions, that is, whe n the outcome o f the competition was unknown vs. aft er a surprise win by the weaker team vs. aft er an expected loss by the we aker te am. Sim ila rly, no differe nces wer e dete cted w ith regard to the reaction times when maki ng the re cogniti on deci si on for the underdog i tem across the conditions Th us, t he propose d expla nati on of sel ect ive atte ntiveness to t he ex emplars of s ucces sful underdogs fail ed to gai n empi rica l suppor t. S everal expl anations exist as to why the study fai led t o support t he proposed underdog schema model, mos t of w hich a re grounded in t he li mit ati ons of t he research desi gn. First of al l, the manipulation chec k r eveal ed tha t the percent age of pa rticipants who wer e ei ther not sure of the final outcom e or answe red inc orrectl y wa s hi gh (32.2%) The p roposed m echanism of selective att ention t o wi nning underdog ex empla rs r equir es that the parti cipant s remember the state or t he re sult of t he com peti tion at the t ime when they re as ked t o defin e the nature of the ev ent in re trospect Thus, gi ven tha t a third of the sample fail ed to r ecall the correct result of the c ompet iti on, it i s possible t hat these


5 2 participant s did not generate the underdog sche ma a t al l and, subse quently, could not hav e f alsely reco gnized the word underdog a s fi tti ng into t he mi ssing te mpla te. S econdly, t he false recognition rates were overal l quit e low (22%). Gi ven t he number of partici pants in the s tudy (9 2) in t hree c ondi ti ons, thi s ra te m ight have been insufficien t in t erm s of the po wer to detect som e effec t. Parti cipant s were teste d on their memory only a fe w minu tes after reading the vi gnett es. Recogni tion me mory is typically very robust i n young, hea lthy people ( Bayen, Phe lps & Spaniol 2000) a nd, thus, the limi t ed period of ti me between the learning and t he te st ing phases wa s proba bly not long eno ugh to i nduce forgetting (necess ar y for substa nt ial false re cognit ion). A n other possi ble l imitation is grounded in the misma tch bet we en the proposed phe nomenon of looming success and strate gy c hose n to exa mine it i n the curre nt expe riment Whil e it wa s predicted that pa rtic ipant s would e rr (i .e., rec ognize the w ord underdog w hen it was never part of th e v i gnett e) in t he scena rios where the out come w as not known or after th e w eaker entity won, i n real it y, out si de of the l aborat ory, the mi sc las sificat ion actually occurs in s ituat ions wher eupon lesser ent iti es label ed as underdogs i n com petition lose, and upo n l osi ng a re forgott en as underdogs. I n sum, the fi rst three studies attempted to cl arif y t he underdog construc t an d to explore the degree t o which the dictionary defini tion m atc hed the one use d by people in every day contex t. This effo rt extended well beyond the l inguisti c real m and m ay explain the unde rdog phenomenon based on heurist ic cogni tive forc es, whi ch deem looming success imminent. How ever, th is is not the onl y mec hanism at hand. In the next


5 3 expe riment several manipulations were unde rtake n to expl ore the conditi ons of under dog supp ort vs. rooti ng agains t advantaged ent iti es, as we ll a s t he possibl e pla ce of t he self in why underdog s are supported.


5 4 St u dy 4: Why Do We S upport Underdogs? Study 4A: The justice framework: Schadenfre ud e or Underdog support: A Memory Test to Detect Attentional Focus O n e poss ib ili ty wi thin the jus tice realm i s t hat peopl e do not so much roo t for th e underdog as m uch as they root agains t the m ore domi na nt ent ity. Tha t is, what may app ear to be sy mp ath y may ins tead be moti va ted m ore by ple asure in seei ng a powerful figure or team knocked off its pedestal, a phenome non known as schadenf re ude or the joy people take in others fall from grace. E lec tions for publi c office for exam ple, ar e by definition a zero sum game: When one c andidat e wins a seat, i ts opponent i nvariabl y loses it. It i s possi ble that s tanding behind the unde rdog is just the mirror im age of aspi ring for the strong s ide to lose. M aybe, beca use of soc ial desi rabil it y, a mong other possibl e reasons, nonpartis an obs ervers publ icly support the underdo g whil e privately aspi re for the m ig ht y to fall. P eople are tau ght from infancy to think that good t hings that happen t o o thers shou ld please them while bad things that o ccur to ot hers ought to be upset ting and disturbing to t he moral pers on. S ometi mes, as we mat ure, the fe eli ng of joy in the mi sf ortune of others creeps on us. Nietzsche (1887/ 1967) was the fi rst to la bel the con cept of schadenf reude as an emotional reac tion i n the re pertoir e of feel ings expe rienced by human beings He descr ibed it as the m ali cious ple asure that people take


5 5 in the misfortune of others. H eider (1958) cl aim ed tha t schadenf reude is counter prod uc tive in the social settin g becaus e pl easure i s a discordant r eact ion to a nother s downfa ll and hence it establishes an antagonisti c rel ati onshi p between t he person who expe riences it and i ts target. Schadenfre ude is opportunisti c by nature indire ct and passive. In ot her words, people w ho exp erienc e schadenf re ude do n ot ac tive ly seek the demise of ot her peop le or plan for it, but feel a burst of plea sure when e ncounte ring news abo ut a set ba ck someone els e s uffered. Ni etz sc he adde d that see ing othe r people suff er and experiencin g schadenfreude w hile not acti vel y e ngag ing i n direct compe tit ion, is soci ally less accept able. I n their research on the 1980 pres idential ele cti ons de sc ri bed before Ceci and Kain (198 2) determined that polls did not creat e posit ive fee lings towards the under dog but, ins tead, creat ed a negativ e reaction towards the c andida te de pi cte d as havin g a domina nt positi on. Thus, participants who we re present ed wi th one c ontende r as leading in an early st age, swayed away from him afte r the e xposure to the pol ls (a ranking of 3.27 on a 7 point scale com pared to a 3.94 ranki ng in t he control group). But whe n the same gro up was lat er presented with another p oll i ndicat ing a shift in the pol ls towards the previous underdo g, making him a domin ant frontrunne r, the pa rt ici pants shifte d their supp ort on ce agai n back to the current u nderdog. This shift, however, was approximately to the same rati ng held b y the control group (3.9), suggesting t hat, t he seem ingly large shifts between the incons istent conditions were due to oppositi onal rea cti vit y, not necessari ly underdo g feelings. Subject shifti ng.di d not surpass t he ini tial position and


5 6 do minance information did not evoke a posit ive m ove towards the unde rdog, merely a movement aw ay from w hoev er was current ly bei ng t outed a s domi nant (p. 240). S mit h and c ol leag ues (1996) sought to ex plore the condit ions under whi ch scha de nfr eude was most likely to occur. They present ed part icipa nts wi th a short video of a prospecti ve m edical student describi ng hi mself. T he student was ma de to appear either superi or o r a v erage. An epilogue inform ed part ici pants that the stude nt was rece ntly cau ght st ealing and thus would not be adm itt ed to m edic al school. Participants who watched t he i nterview of the better quali fied stude nt were more plea se d upon learning that t his per son s uffered the setba ck than partic ipant s who wa tche d his average cou nterpa rt. These findings lent support to t he sc hadenfreude phe nomenon a nd int ro duced envy as a state an tecedent to the j oy people take in others fal l from grace. F eather and Sherman (2002) tested the hypothesis tha t schadenfreude was more closely related t o resentment (defined as publi cly expre ssed when the outcom e is undese rved) and a wis h to correct a perceiv ed injusti ce t han to env y (whic h is privately held and can o ccur without a s ens e of injusti ce or resent ment). In t heir study, par ticipants were exposed to scenarios in which a student wit h a rec ord of e ithe r high or ave ra ge achi evem ent that followed high or low effort subsequent ly suffered fai lure under con ditions of ei ther hig h or low pers onal control. T he aut hors found tha t resent ment abo ut the st udents prior achievement coul d be disti ngui she d from envy, ba sed on the results of factor analys is of th e data. Sp eci fical ly, when part ici pants deem ed the r esult to be unjustified (i.e., the studen t w as not working hard but ha d high abi lit y and grades) they


5 7 expr ess ed resent ment to wards him. Alternative ly, when he was worki ng hard and succ eeding, only envy was reported. Schadenf re ude about the student s subsequent fai lu re was predi cted b y resentment and not by envy; thus, deservingness wa s a key ante ce dent to the manifestation of the s chade nfreude sent ime nt. L eac h and col leagu es demonstrated s chadenf re ude in t he sport s dom ain as it manife sted it sel f i n inter grou p relations (Leac h Spe ars, Branscombe, & Doosje, 2003) Dutch soccer fans were asked about thei r fe eli ngs i n regards to fai lure of t he German national team in t he international arena. Based on pil ot studie s a nd history, the researchers establ ished that G erman y w as perce i ved by t he Dut ch as a m ighty competitor and hence, predi cted and s ubsequently found tha t the Dut ch woul d be li kely t o expe rience schad enfreude in the face of a Germ an defe at by a third party (who wouldnt?). The authors argued that, alt hough i t is gene ra lly una cc eptabl e to e xp er ience malicious feel ing s su ch as dislike, the percei ved im portanc e of the i ssue a t hand as well as th e inferi ori ty threat (in this case, based on p ast history of German a ggressi on and rel ative size of the two n ation s) might have ma de schadenfreude m ore ac cessible and acce pta ble. S o why wo uld we expect nonpartisan obse rvers, wi th no prior knowledge about two compet ing enti ties to develop schadenfreud e afte r having re ad short vignet tes desc ribing unequal competitors? A possi ble a ns wer ma y lay i n soci al c ompari son theory (Fe stinger, 1954; Tess er, 199 1; Will s, 1991). In thi s cont ext, t he envy or resent ment is literally defined by a comparison process. Following the finding tha t sympat hy is more


5 8 easily gen erated by mis fortun e happeni ng to av erage, ra ther t han supe rior, people, Br igham and colleagues proposed that s chadenf re ude ari ses when peopl e fee l that a mi sf ortune befal lin g on other s removes the n egati ve, self re lat ed effec ts of an invidious comparis on (Brigham, Kels o, Jackson, & Sm ith, 1997). Moreover, bec ause of its distinct feature s (i .e., opportunis tic, indirect and passive, by de finit ion), schadenfreude becomes a welcomed guest by a non partisan obs erver who has li tt le or no im pact what soe ver on the dev eloping n ature of the co mpetition. I n the contex t of the present investigation, i t was hypothesiz ed that averageness, or proximity t o the mean in terms of resour ces avai labi lit y, would set the m otivational fram e of refe rence when watching an unde rdo g t op dog compe tit ion. When a favorite had a weal th of resources, which w as s ubst anti all y large r t han the avera ge, the n participant s w oul d be driven by schaden freude and, a s a resul t, would pay m ore attention to events associat ed w ith the favorite. It was expe cted t hat t hey wou l d do so while prof es sing underdog s upport and not root ing agai nst the t op dog, when a ske d directly abo ut the ir support after watching a baske tbal l gam e in which a n unde rdog and a favor ite were depict ed. This tendency was h ypot hesiz ed to be a t le ast part i all y driven by social desi rability conce rns. O n the other hand, when t he underdog enti ty had substantiall y lower res ou rce s t han the average, w hile t he favorit e was just about average the atte ntiona l focus w ould likely to be placed on eve nts assoc iat ed wi th the underdog gen erating st ron ger or better memories for these e vents. Thi s would not be expected to chan ge, however, the pattern of the partic ipants responses, when di rect ly asked about


5 9 their support for the two entities ; that is, the underdog suppor t should be evide nt just like in the prev ious condition. What w as expec ted to be differe nt wa s t he me mory (as mea sured by ei ther recall or recognition) for deta ils associa ted with e ithe r of the competing si des. I n sum, whatever basic process too k prec edent sc hadenfreude or root ing for the underdog t he observable outcome b y n on pa rti sa n observe rs would be t he same (i.e., root i ng for the underdog). On the other hand, the possibl e underl yi ng moti vati ons behind the support people extend to under dogs coul d be dive rse T he current stud y attemp ted to b ypass s oci al desira bili ty conc erns i n scha de nfr eude versus underdog support by t est ing me mory for event s i n addit ion to just self re ported support r ates. It w as predict ed that readi ng about an und er dog wi th notic eably fewer than av erage resources woul d lea d people to sym pathi ze wit h the underdog and t hus focus their attention on the unde rdog (i .e., rem embe r more details associated wit h it) compared to the superior opponent In contrast, re ading a bou t a top dog, who has notic eably greater resour ces t han ave rage, would m ake it s a dvantage salient, thereby arousing motivations to wish for it to l ose These mot ivat ions or wishes were not, h owe ve r, ex pected to be demonstrat ed when dire ctly que ried a bout i t but were predicted to shift t he participants focus of at tent ion to t he top dog (i.e ., reme mber more deta ils as soci ated w ith it) relative to the underdog.


6 0 Method P articipan ts. The sample included 161 pa rtic ipant s (34 m ale s and 127 fema les) who rec eived a class credit fo r their parti cipat ion. Ei ghty four parti cipa nts we re Caucasian (52.2%), 20 w ere of Hispanic de scent (12.4%), 19 were Asian Ame rican (11.8 %), 12 part ici pants identified themsel ve s a s Afric an Ameri can (7.5%), 12 labeled themselves und er t he O ther racial category and 14 did not report et hnici ty. Sixty four reported that they watched basketball on TV ve ry rarely (39.8 %), 27 wat ched i t rarely (16.8 %), 33 reported watching bas ketbal l somet imes (20.5%), 18 watche d it oft en (11.2 %) a nd 5 (3 .1%) w atched it all the ti me. T hi rty nine parti cipant s (24.2%) did not lik e basketball at al l, 43 did not like it m uc h (26.7%), 45 l iked ba sket ball somew hat (28%), 13 l iked it quite a bit (8.1%) and 9 (5.6%) l iked the game very muc h. All but one particip ant di d not recognize any players from the cli p, whi le one pa rtic ipant made a wrong identific ation and thus was retained i n the a nal ysis. P rocedure Parti cipants w atched an 8 minut e vide o clip of a game betwee n two bask etball team s (Tau V itoria from Spa in a nd Pan athi na ikos At hens from Gre ece) competing fo r the European cup after readi ng a short vigne tte (Appendi x D) de scribing the history of the teams rivalr y, with an unde rdog top dog sc enari o (the t eam described as th e underdog was counterbalanced ac ross pa rtic ipant s). In addi tion t o information abo ut popul ar per ceptions of expectations for eac h tea ms suc cess, as de noted by betting money placed on each side, participants we re also present ed wi th the tea ms relative fina ncial re sources in comparison to the le ague a verage. In one vi gnett e, the under dog


6 1 was significantly poorer than the league avera ge while the t op dog was about average in that rega rd I n the second vignette, the unde rdo g was about avera ge whi le t he favor ite was significantly ri cher t han the mean (count er bal ance d, se e Appe ndix D). A fter r ead ing the vignette about the game and wat ching the video c lip, participant s w ere asked to recall certain e vents (e.g., how man y poi nts did ea ch team scor e; how m any po ints did each team score du ri n g the c lip; how m any 3 point shots did eac h tea m make; w hat was each teams shoot ing pe rc enta ge from t he li ne; how many time s did each t eam dunk the ball; how many fouls did t hey comm it; se e Appendix D) Part i cipants we re also asked to identif y pl ayers fr om a line up of phot os a nd to identify to which team they belonged. These recall mea su re s serve d as an im plic it i ndex of where participant s focused their attention. A ccurac y ra tings were c omputed t hrough the standardized agg regation of all memor y item s. Lastly, the p art ici pants w ere as ked to report which t eam t hey supported a nd which team was the underdog and top dog (see Appendi x D for m ate ri als). Study 4a is, thus, a 2 ( top dog ver sus under dog, withi n subj ect s) by 2 ( fav ori te resources outlier vs. un derdog resources outlier, between subje cts ) mix ed model design. S tudy 4a was a replication of a s tud y attem pted b y Goldschm ied (2005) wit h the exception of tw o major chang es. F irst, instead o f aski ng parti cipa nts about names of players and jersey numbers they were queri ed about event s i n the gam e, which could be attri buted t o each teams performance (i .e., number of dunks, three pointe rs m ade and foul s comm itt ed). This s eemed to be a more na tura l way viewers foll ow th e game.


6 2 Sec ondly, in the pr evious a ttempt, schad enfreude was predi cte d ba se d on the m ere mentionin g of resources dis parity. O ne condi tion i nclude d a compe tit ion bet ween an underdog and a favorite w ith no resources me ntione d whi le a sec ond one inc luded the same de scripti on wi th addition of a large payrol ls disparit y. This mani pulat ion, however did not produce t he predicted schad enfreude shift. In t he present stud y, i nst ead, it was predicted that underdogs wou ld be supporte d regardle ss of the type of vi gne tte participant s w ere exposed to p rior to watc hing the cli p. More i mporta nt ly, it was predicted that parti cipants wo uld generally atte nd more c losely t o t he outl ier. Results F irst, to est ablish that neither team w as favored e ven before i t was assi gned the underdog label, 26 participants w ere as ke d to read a vignet te de sc ribing tha t the teams were of the same strength and caliber. In t his condit ion, the re was no signi fica nt diff erence in parti cipants wishing the Greek t eam to wi n the gam e ( M = 6.23, SD = 2.23) vs. t he Spanish team winnin g the game ( M = 5.77, SD = 2.73), t (25) = .51, p > .05. I n addition, across t he four underdog top dog condit ions, wi thout t aking i nto acc ount the underdog top dog status of t he te ams, there wa s no prefe rence in participants wish ing a Spani sh team to win ( M = 5.93, SD = 2.5) vs. wishing a Greek t eam to win ( M = 5.4 1, SD = 2.59), t (160) = 1.39, p > .05. S u pport. A mix ed between within s ubjects ana lysis of varianc e was conduc ted to explore the im pact o f s tatus (underdo g & t op dog wi thin subje cts varia bl e) a nd outlier


6 3 con dition (underdo g as a financial outlie r vs. top dog a s a financi al out lie r between subj ects variabl e) on s upport tendencies. The re was a signifi cant e ffect of st atus [ Wilks Lambda = .77, F (1,133 ) = 40.75, p < .01, m ulti variat e part ia l e ta square d = .24. ] such that the underdog received overwhelmingl y m ore support ( M = 6.78, SD = 2.26) than the top dog ( M = 4.44, SD = 2.32). The main e ffect for outli er condit ion [ F (1, 133) = 1.30, p > .0 5] and the i nt eraction effect [ F (1, 133) = .14 p > .05] di d not reac h st ati stical signific ance. S upport tendencies were also explored as a dichot omous variabl e whereby participant s w ere asked which team they l iked best on fi rst impre ssion. Across the f our con ditions that depi cted uneven competiti ons t he underdog was support ed more than the top dog. When the Gr eek team had a huge pa yroll re lat ive t o the me an, only 32% ( 10 of 31) o f partici pa nt s l iked it relative to the Spanish underdog. When t he Greek t eam had a signific antly small er p ayroll than t he avera ge cl ub, 64% (21 of 33) l iked i t more than its opponent. W hen t he Spanis h team had a m uc h lar ge r payroll than ave rage, i t was liked by only 33 % (12 of 36). When the S panish te am had a sm all er payroll than t he avera ge club, it was supported b y 80% (28 of 35 ) parti cipa nts,2( 3) = 22.21, p > .05. T hus across the fou r cond itions, 70% of participa nts favored t he underdog. In the even con dition, the part icipants were almos t evenl y spli t wit h 14 l iking t he te am from Spain and 12 preferring the team fr om Greece. S imi larly, w hen participants were asked for whom t hey woul d root, part ici pant s were in favor of t he underdog. When the Gre ek tea m had a huge payroll 68% (21 of 31)


6 4 participant s rooted for the S panish underdog. When t he Gre ek side ha d si gni fic antly less money than t he average club, 52% (17 of 33) roote d for it ove r its opponent. When the Sp anish team had a larger payroll than ave rage, 78% (28 of 36) rooted for t he Greek team. When t he Spanish team had a small er pa yrol l tha n avera ge, 71% (2 5 of 35) r ooted for it over t he opposing team,2( 3 ) = 5.82, p > .05. Thus, acros s the four condit ions, 67% of part icipant s rooted for the underdog, and i n the eve n condit ion the pa rticipants were almost evenly s plit with 12 rooting for the Spanish tea m while 14 pre ferred the Greek side. M emory. As part of the manipulation che ck to ve rify that the pa rtic ipants i ndeed read the vig nettes, they were asked to s tate the c ountries tha t the team s r epresented. O ne hundre d an d fo rty, out of 161 (87%), reported correct ly tha t Ta u Vit oria ori ginated f rom Sp ain, while 146 out of 161 ( 90.7%) reported accura tely that Pana thina ikos At hens was a Greek team. When queried about the colors of the uniforms, 158 out of 161 (98.1%) participant s correct ly recalled that Vitor i a wa s wea ring a whit e uniform, whil e 159 out of 161 (98.9%) rem embered that Panathinaikos was i n gre en uniform s. B efore assessing t he schadenfreude hy pot hesis, overal l ac curac y of m emor y was explore d. For the Spanish team, 114 out of 135 part ici pants (8 4.4%) correc tl y recalled that the te am had 70 points when the clip they had wat ched e nded. A one sa mple t test demonstrat ed that participants recollecti on ( M = 69.93) was not signifi cantl y differ ent than the actual sco re, t (134) = .33, p > .05. For the Gre ek si de, 102 part ici pants out of 134 (75.6%) correctly recalled that the team had 69 point s when t he cli p had ended. A


6 5 one sample t t est demonstrated that partici pants rec olle cti on ( M = 68.69) was not signific antly differen t than th e actual score t (1 33) = 1.41, p > .05. A lso an at tempt was made to verify that parti cipa nts recal led wit h cla rity t he diff erences i n bud gets for the two clubs as well as the a verage pa yroll for t eam s in the con tinent. In t he condition in which the t op dog ha d a signifi c antly higher t han avera ge pay roll ($107 mi ll ion), the participants mea n e st im ate of $107.88 was rem arkably close (Mode = 107, SD = 36.88) and not signifi cant ly diffe rent from t he origi nal num ber t ( 63) = .19 p > .05. A s for the underdogs budget i n the sam e scenari o ($22 mil lion), participant s agai n r ecalled a b udget quite c or rectly ( M = 24.52, SD = 18.06), which was not signific ant ly di fferent than the payro ll i n the art icl e, t (63) = 1.12, p > .0 5. In the underdog as l ower than aver age scenario, part i cipa nts memor y of t he top dog budget ( M = 21.52, SD = 12) w as not significantly di fferent than t he origina l budget ($22 mi ll i on), t (65) = .33, p > .05. Also, partic ipant s re call of the unde rdogs budget ( M = 10.15, SD = 27.05) was not significantly d iffere nt tha n the ac tual figure ($5 m illion) t (67) = 1.57, p > .05. L astly participants reca ll of t he aver age budget wa s e xamined. Across the two scenarios, participants mem ory aft er excl uding one outl ier ( M = 25.13, SD = 24.6) was not significantly differen t tha n the report ed figure of $21 m il lion, t ( 110) = 1.7 7, p > .05. Thu s, it was concluded t hat pa rtic ipant s m emory was very good in regards to the info rmation they read in the vi gnett e. F ollowing, the first hypothesis of the stu dy was assesse d whic h post ulated t hat memory was prop elled altern atively by either unde rdog support (i mproved m emory f or


6 6 the underdo g) or schadenfreude (improve d memory for t he top dog) and t hat t he chan ging focus was derived by deviation from the a verage E ach of t he me mory categories was an alyzed separately. First eac h obse rvati on was com pared t o the real scor e in the cl ip and a dif ference score was comput ed. In addi tion, t he absolute values of these difference scores w ere als o created. The a nal ysis of the di ffere nc es in me mory between teams whose budget w as signif icant ly dif fe rent t han the average (an under dog with a $5 m ill ion in one scenario and a top dog with a budget of $107 mi lli on in the second s cenario) to those whos e payroll wa s not marke dly diffe re nt from t he averag e (a top dog and an underdo g with $22 millions pa yrol l) was conduct ed for both difference scor es (ab sol ut e and non absolute values). F irst, a pa ired samples t test was conduct ed for the final score whe n the clip end ed. There was no difference in errors m ade for t he ext reme budge t te am ( M = 0.25) and the averag e budget team ( M = 0), t ( 133) = .62, p > .05. A sec ond paire d sa mples t test was conducted for points scored dur ing the c li p. T here was no differe nce i n err ors made for the ext re me budg et team ( M = 0.48) an d the ave rage budget tea m ( M = 0.38) t (124 ) = 1.60, p > .05. A third paired s ampl es t te st wa s conduc ted for 3 poi nters scored duri ng the cl ip. There was no difference in errors made for the e xtrem e budget team ( M = 0.9 2) and t he average budget team ( M = 0.94), t (132) = .125, p > .05. A fourth pair ed samples t t est was conducted for shooting per centa ge from t he foul li ne. The re was no diff erence in errors made for the ex treme bud ge t te am ( M = 1.23) and t he average budg et team ( M = 1.08), t ( 129) = 1.62, p > .05. A fifth pa ired sam pl es t te st wa s c onducted f or


6 7 dunks made during the clip. There was no differenc e in e rrors m ade for the extreme budget team ( M = 0.42) and the average budget tea m ( M = 0.34), t (132) = 1.10, p >. 05. Lastly, a paired samples t test was conduc ted for fouls com mit ted duri ng t he cl ip. There was a signi fi cant di fference in errors made for the e xtrem e budget t eam ( M = .28) and the average budg et team ( M = .06), t (133) = 2.16, p = .032. However, t his diff er ence was contrary to the h ypothesis The same a nalysis was conducte d for the pl ayer s photos. Thr ee play ers f rom each team were present ed to the parti cipant s (wit h two distracter photos whi ch were not in cluded in the analysis). A paire d sam pl es t t est was conducted for the parti cipa nt s reco gnition. There was no signifi cant differenc e in re cognition level of th e e xtreme bud get team ( M = 1.15) and the ave rage budget te am ( M = 1.06), t ( 120) = 0. 70, p > 05. Sim il ar analyses w ere con ducte d usi ng t he absolut e val ues of error s, but results were no different. Discus sion T he ma in hypoth esi s of this s tud y was tha t peopl es att entiona l focus (as mea sured by the accuracy of their memo ry) would be direc ted at outli ers eit her underdogs t hat were fin ancially dis adv ant aged, or t op dogs t hat were hi ghly advantaged. Su ch a finding w ould shed light on the condi tions under which unde rdo g support is based mainly on sympat hy for the disadvantaged o r, c ontrar y, re se ntment of the a dvanta ged (i.e. scha denfreud e). This h ypothesis was not supported, a s t here were no c lea r memor y diff erences across conditions.


6 8 O n e of the problems evident from the on se t of the st udy i s t he low le vel of i nterest the partici pant s had tow ards the game of basketba ll and the l ow e nthu si asm the y showed ove rall towards watchin g it on TV. This patt ern of insignifi cant re sul ts cannot be explained, however, by inattentiveness to the clip shown to the partic ipant s, a s t heir memory was overall good when the underdog top dog m anipul ation was not c onsider ed. Part i cipants we re str ongly in favo r of the underdog ac ross all four condit ions regardless of th e depart ure from the average h ypothesis. T hus, it s eems that rooting for the underdog, at l east for t hose who are not a vid fans of the g ame, doe s not trans late into mem ory bi ases but does result i n differing performance att ri butions for underdogs and top dogs, as demonstrat ed in a previous study using a simil ar manipulation of watching a ba sk etbal l com peti tion be tween t wo unknown teams (Goldschmi e d, 2005). This incongruenc e bet we en the mem ory for ga me related facts and the att ri butions made based upon them wa s a lso evident in previ ous re sea rch con ducted by Stone, P erry an d Darley (1997), who de monstrate d that afte r being expose d to an audi o broad cast of a bas ketball gam e, parti cipa nt s remem bered e qually well the stati st ics of w hat they presumed to be e ither a whi te or a bl ack ba ske tball player but when asked t o make attributions about his performanc e, signific ant di fferences wer e foun d whereupon participants credited the whi te player wit h court smart s whil e emphasizi ng the nat ural ability of his Afri can Ameri can c ount erpart O v erall, the fai lure to establish conditions in whi ch schadenf re ude was evi dent in thi s study m ight be due to the novelty of th e stim ulus mate rial s. It i s pl ausible that


6 9 becaus e the current research employed bogus and newly enc ountere d enti tie s with w hich the partici pant s were unfamiliar before, sc hadenfre ude never e merge d as a mot ivation. Prev ious st udies introducing parti cipants to speci fica ll y ne wly creat ed ta rgets did manage to elicit s chadenfreude motivations but in t he ma jorit y of t he cases the frame of reference were the part icipant s themselves (i.e., a de scripti on of a superb st udents to a sa mple of students; Sm ith et al., 1996).


7 0 S tudy 4B: I mpli cati ons for the S elf: The E ffect s of Underdog Succe ss on the Self P ast resea rch has demonstrated that underdogs are ove rwhel mingl y support ed (e.g., Ceci & Kai n, 1 982; F razier & Sn yder, 1991; Vandel lo et al., in pre ss). It is post ulated that the robustnes s of the phenomenon m ay be deri ved from pa st and present expe riences of me as an underdog p erc epti on of the sel f. If t he underdog c onstruct is impo rtant t o the self, being ex posed to a si tuat ion where a n unde rdog preva i ls should hav e an impact on variou s self relevant aspe cts suc h as se lf estee m and c ore beliefs one holds about t he na ture of the social world around hi m/he r. It is inte resting t o note in this regard that the day i n which the American Nat ional Ol ympic Hoc ke y Tea m surpr ised the mi ghty Russi ans i n what later came to b e known a s t he mi racle on ice wa s t he day with the least reporte d cases of suicides in the USA bet wee n the ye ars of 1972 a nd 1989 (Joiner, Ho llar, & Van O rden, 2006). In t he cont ext of the b el iefs about t he world, two main the ories come to mind: the Protes tant W ork E thic (Webe r, 1904) a nd Implicit The ories of Mor ali ty (Chiu, D weck, Tong & Fu, 1997). Whil e the former focus es on beliefs about personal freedom and the p owe r of i ndivi dua ls to wo rk autonomously towards achievi ng goals the latter posits that pe ople di ffer wi th rega rds t o beli ef about whe ther the world is governed by fixed real it y (e nti ty theory) or a m all eabl e one (inc remen tal theory). Thus, i t was hypothesiz ed tha t those part ici pants who we re expose d to an underdo g winn ing and who ini tial ly t hou ght it would do so, woul d


7 1 temporarily chan ge the way they perceived the soc ial worl d around them suc h that they would experience a marked boos t in self este em, a st ronger bel ief in h ard wo rk as the basi s to bring about transformation, and an overal l a gre ate r c onvict ion in t he malleability of th e reality around them. T hus, more speci fi cally believers in the underdog who had the ir beli ef con firmed (i .e., wer e told that the underdog inde ed surprised and preva ile d) should have higher lev els of stat e self es teem, a stronger bel ief in the prot estant work et hic and a stronger b elief i n increm ental tendencies (th e mal lea bili ty of the world), a bove and bey ond of their iden tification with the unde rdog. Partic ipant s i n all other condi tions (believing that the underdog lost and told t hat it did, bel ievi ng t hat unde rdog lost and told that it ultimat ely prevailed and believing t hat underdog won but t old that it e ventually lost) would show markedly lo w er levels of st ate se lf estee m, bel ief i n the ma lle ability of the world and the vi ability of the protes tant work e thic To test t his, afte r having been expose d to t he basketball vid eo clip (Study 4a), which was stopped be fore the c onclusion of th e gam e wh en t he s core was close, part ici pants were tol d that the unde rdog eithe r won or lo st the game. The data were analyzed wi th thre e separat e ANCOVA a nalyses f or eac h of the measures, w hich s erved as th e depende nt vari able s. Assi gnm ent of the participant s t o a n underdog win or loss was one fact or whi le bel ievi ng ( Yes or No ) in the ability of the underdog to triumph was the se cond. In order to rul e out t he possibilit y that the effec ts could be simply d riven by greate r i dent ifica tion wit h underdogs, t he degr ee to which parti cipants identified with the un derdog wa s a lso mea sured a nd control led f or.


7 2 Method P articipan ts The same 161 participants who pa rtic ipat ed in Study 4a t ook part in Stud y 4b. P rocedure Th e second phase of S tud y 4 exa mine d how bel ievi ng i n unde rdogs and witnessing t hem prevail could affect t he se lf and be lie fs about the soci al wor ld. Imm ediately following the completion of t he underdog suppo rt questions, part icipants were asked to answer a series of ques tions about thei r leve l of ident ific ati on wi th the two teams (Appendix D). Th e last question aske d t he part ici pants to predi ct whic h team won the game. Once they had done s o, the researc h assi st ant e ntered t he room a nd asked agai n which t eam they thought had won th e game Ne xt, the resear ch a ssista nt infor med them of the final score: Half of the participant s were told t hat t he underdog te am had w on while the other half were info rmed that the favorit e had e ventual ly preva ile d (in a cou nter balance d fashion). The research assi st ant t hen sho we d the part ici pants a short clip from the suppos ed crowd celebrations following t he gam e to le t the outcome be abso rbed. T he parti cipan ts were then info rm ed tha t the experi ment e nded but w er e prod de d to parti cipate in another, ostensibl y unre lat ed, brie f stud y si nce t he ti me allotme nt for the original study was not over yet (the pa rtic ipants were i nformed on the onlin e res earch participation tool that the study would la st 30 minut es, whi le it usually took no lo ng er than 20 minutes). The partic ipant s t h en read and si gned anot her bogus informed consent form for an os tensibly separ ate st udy a nd compl eted t hree


7 3 que stionnai res m easuring their s tate s elf estee m, im plic it t heorie s a bout the world (inc remen tal versus entity ) and Protes tant work ethi c. T he firs t scale o f state self esteem (Heathe rton & Poli vy, 1991 ) was a 20 ite m state inventory measuring ho w one felt at the t ime of taki ng t he t est afte r underdog succ ess or fai lure. The State Self Esteem Sc ale (SSES) has 3 correl ate d fact ors: performance, soci a l, and app earance s elf est eem and had proven t o be sensiti ve to laborator y m anipulations and psychometric all y sound in m easuring cl ini cal c hang es in self esteem. T he Protestant Et hic Scale of Quinn and Croc ker (1999), a 16 it em sca le wi th a rel ia bility co efficient of .79 (see A ppend ix D), wa s al so used. L astly, the 9 it em scale of Implicit Theories of Morali ty by Chiu, Dwe ck, T ong and Fu (1997) assessed entity (fix ed reality) vs. in creme ntal (muta bili ty) tende ncies. In thi s unidime nsi onal ques tionnaire, a greeme nt with i tem s re flect ed a gre ate r endor sement of a n entit y worldvi ew and d is agreement refle cte d endorse ment of an incre mental wor ldview. T hree main domains covered by thi s measure a re wo rl d, moral it y a nd int elligence. The t est retes t r eliability f or a 2 wee k inte rval was .80 (Dwec k et al., 1995; Appendix D ). Results F irst, it was ex plored whether participant s i de ntifi ed with t he underdog or t he to p dog. Three questi ons meas uring identific ation (i .e., How m uch do you ident ify with Tau/


7 4 Panath ina ikos? How much do you see yoursel f i n Tau/ Pa nathi naikos? a nd How similar are you to Tau/ Pan athinaikos?) were ag gre gate d ( = .92) to form an overall identification m easure. Participants iden tifi ed si gnific antl y m ore with t he underdog ( M = 14.87, SD = 6.59) t han with the top dog ( M = 11.79, SD = 5.65), t (134) = 4 .73, p < .001. The re was no si gnificant difference b etween the ident ific ati on pa rtic ipant s fe lt t ow ar ds Panathina ikos the Greek team ( M = 12 .96, SD = 6.45) vs. Tau the Spa nish team ( M = 13.7, SD = 6.19), t (134) = 1.04, p > .05. N ex t, the thre e sel f report measures were assesse d. Al l three sc ale s e xhibi ted hig h internal consistency: = .9 0 for the state self esteem s cale; = .78 for the Prot estant Wor k Ethic Scal e; and = .82 for the Impli cit Theories of Morality sc ale A two way b etwe en groups analy sis of cova rianc e was c onducte d to assess the influ ence o f b eli eving in the ability of th e underdog to win and b eing inform ed that it did on attitude format ion of the social world as well as about t he self. The indepe ndent variables were w het her the participant thought the underdog prevai led i n the ga me ( Yes/No ) and whet her they were to ld that it did ( Yes/No ). The de pendent v ariables, w hich were analyzed separately, were S tate S elf E st eem Prot estant Work Et hi c, and Implicit The ories of Mor ali ty. Scores on identificat ion wit h t he underdog were use d a s a cov ariate to control for individ ual differenc es. P reli minary checks wer e conducted to ensure that there was no viol ati on of the assumptio ns of normality, lin earity homogenei ty of varia nces, homogene ity of reg ression slopes and rel iabl e measurement of the c ovariat e. After a djusting fo r ide ntifi cation with


7 5 the underdo g, ther e was no interaction ef fe ct on sta te sel f esteem [ F (1, 129) = .04, p > .0 5]. Neit her w as t her e an in teraction effect on the be lie f in Prot estant Work Et hic [ F (1, 128) = .76, p > .05]. L astly there was no si gni fi ca nt int eract ion effe ct on Im plicit The ories of Mor ali ty [ F ( 1, 1 28) = .03, p > .05]. None of these a nalyses reve aled an y signific ant main effects. T hese result s su gg est that peoples beliefs regardi ng who will prevai l, as well as being told which side w on the competition, exe rt ed no infl uence ove r thei r perceptions of the social worl d a rou nd them as well as how t hey fel t about themsel ves. T he ma in fi nding o f inter est emergin g from t his st udy wa s t he st rong identification parti cipants felt towards th e und erdog te am. Peopl e had ver y l itt le reservations t o not e that they saw themsel ves in th e underdog te am and t hat t hey felt similar to it. In addition, people who ident ified m ore strongly wit h unde rdogs a lso supp orted them m ore than people who identi fied l e ss, r = 0.59, p < .05. Of note, 78 participant s predicted an underdo g win whi le only 56 t hought the top dog woul d prevail, desp ite the score b eing w ithin 1 point at the end of the c lip. Discus sion P arti cipan ts did not modi fy their s elf percept ions and th ei r beli efs about the nature of the world aroun d th em bas ed o n t heir fe eli ngs a nd t he underdog fa ith. However, t hey fel t strong identification with i t. A s mos t people l ive average lives it seems that whe n compet ing in va rious


7 6 capacities people should exp erience them sel ves both as underdogs and top dogs throughout thei r l ives. H owever, for som e reason, it se ems tha t parti cipa nts cherish their moments as a n underdog more s o than when they were top dogs. An al terna tive perspective woul d argue that almos t all p eople a re underdogs and tha t the re are ve ry fe w top dogs out t here in the world (e.g., the Donal d Trumps of the worl d), or r egardless of peo ples own stat us or stature, they are always a wa re of the possibi lit y of a more powerful ent it y that could s u pplant their a utonomy and c ontrol, and a s such t he me as an underdog is a much more common experi ence t han bei ng a top dog. I dentification i n t he present context can be define d as the orie ntat ion of the self such that individual s define thems elves in t e rms of thei r group membe rshi p (cf. Kelman, 1961). The degree to which an affiliation a ffe cts self defi niti on is define d by t he streng th of th e individual s group identification. Stronge r i denti fica tion l eads the i ndividual to attri bute de si rabl e characte ristics of the group to the se lf, and to a ssume a grea ter similarity w it h other group members (Stot land, Za nder, & Natsoula s, 1961). Some prior research in psychology went as far as measuring i denti fica tion as the perce ived similar ity between the i ndividu al and the identificati on t arget (e.g., Dignan, 1965). To t he extent that one is connected to grou ps that are favorabl y eval uate d, one s soci al i denti ty is posi tive. Accordin gly, individuals empha si ze t he distinc tive and positi ve aspects of gro up members hip as a way of managing the ir self i mage The present results indicate that, despite t he st rong identification the partic ipant s fe lt t owa rds the underdog, they fai le d to ex pe ri ence any changes on how t hey fel t about them se lves or the world ar ound


7 7 them af ter an underdog defeat or success. Thi s sta nds i n contrast t o previous res ear ch sugges ting that i ndividuals experience vic ariously t he suc cesses and fail ures of the gr oup they identify wi th (Kagan, 1958). I t seem s t hat t he part ici pants in t he present stu dy took more of a c ogni tive s tand tow ards the underdog te am t han an em otiona l one. In other wor ds, people mig ht like und erdogs because of what they stand for. Possi bly, for the participant s t o c are about them, they sho ul d be al so i ntere st ed in the conte x t in which the underdog oper ates.


7 8 Genera l Di scussi on O v erall, the result s o f the current study indic ate that people i n our soc iety bel ieve that unde rdogs are unique exemplars wh ich are expec ted to do signi fica ntly be tter than the initial expec tat ions. P ast resea rch on di sadvantaged competitors found t hat t hey we re signifi can tly supp orted in comparison to their much mi ghtier op pone nts (Ki m et al., unpubl ished manuscript ; Frazier & Sny der, 1991; V andell o et a l., in press). As a result it was co n cluded t hat unaffiliated obs ervers dem onst ra ted underdog support te ndencies. However, previous studies of this pheno menon al most exc lusivel y used t he me thodology of describin g a situation of disadvantage (base d on eit her the expect ati ons t o prevail or lack of resource s) of a previo usly unkno wn c ont ender a nd then que ryi ng the pa rticipants abo ut the ir support tendencies, without d irec tly la beli ng the weak er si de as the un derdog Thus, one o f the main aims of the c urrent rese arch was to expl ore the unde rdog label i tself and to d etermine what conce pts we re direc tl y a ssoci ate d with it in memory. Th e main finding was that the underdog construc t was l inked bot h to disadvantage (i n congruence w ith the dicti onary defi niti on) but also to succ ess. This dua lity it i s a rgued, emanates from the loomi ng success com ponent of bei ng branded as a n underdog While pres ent conditions of be ing an unde rdo g m ay signal a state of infe riority t he future looms large in terms of ove rcomi ng the i niti al di sadv antage.


7 9 T he l ooming success component was then studi ed in a direct fashion in whi ch a struggling enti ty facing stiff competition was label ed ei ther as a n underdog or disadvant ag ed in a bogus newspaper a rt icl e. The results of suc h direc t inve st igation showed tha t p artici pants attributed highe r succ ess ra tes, above and beyond expe rts predictions, for both underdo g and disadvanta ged c ompet itors, but the ir le vel of optimis m for the former far ex ceeded that of the l att er. T he rosy ex pectat ions for underdogs cou ld be t he prim e reason why athl ete s a nd polit icians aggressiv ely pursue the designa tion of an unde rdog even if, a t ti mes, the y have to tweak the reali ty for their audiences and supporters as, for exa mple, i n the c ase of Bar ak Obama who has matched his financ ial resources with Hil lary Cli nton, the undisputed t op dog in the Democratic party for el ecti on 2008, but, nevert hele ss, willingly decl ared: W hen your name is Barack Obama youre al ways an unde rdog in political race s. That s how i t was w hen I ran for t he Unit ed Stat es Se nate (Associa ted P ress [AP], 2007). T his psycholo gi cal mechanism of the loomi ng succ ess c omponent m ight be driven by the ex tensive med ia expos ure of t he exe mpla r unde rdogs from the past (w ho hap pened to pre vai l) whenever a new underdog em erges, inc luding fic tiona l underdog dep ictions in books and in popular films. Whil e the c urrent a ttem pt to de monstrate this proc ess receive d m ixed supp ort in Study 3, perha ps e xtendi ng t he ti me dura tion between acqu isition and recognition in the fals e p aradi gm in future st udies woul d all ow for the prop os ed schemati c distortions to develop (as well as overloa d p artic ipant s wit h mor e


8 0 information to i ncreas e the false recognition ra tes). A d ditional ly, self identification with the underdog e merged a s a st rong correl ate with the s upport ex tended to it. Based on the r esu lts of Study 4, people see med to easily see th ems el ves i n a struggling entity and wi sh for i t to succ eed. Thi s i denti ficat ion w as remarkable given t hat the und erdogs depict ed in t he study were not i ndividua ls but a collective or a tea m. Y et, rev iew of the underdog l ite rature suggests tha t thi s fi nding is robu st and even participants watching two ani mat ed roll ing geome tric figures climbing a hil l reported i de nt ification with the one whi ch sl owe d down and h ad a muc h harder time go ing up (i .e., the underdog) than with its non affect ed counte rpart (Kim et a l., unpublis hed m anuscript). Th us, it s e ems t hat t he ident ific ati on is not grounded in the competing enti ti es p er se, but in the perceive d differe nces bet we en the unde rdog and the top dog. I n rega rds t o t he imp act of underdogs on the se lf, the current st udy fa ile d to esta blis h temporary chan ge in the self and pe rc epti ons of t he social worl d around those expe riencing an underdog triumphing. It is possibl e, howe ver, tha t the c hanges should be explore d in other behavioral domains, incl uding im plici t prim ing. For e xam ple, potentially, a n exposu re to an underdo g m ay moti vate people to conti nue a nd work longer on a difficul t/ impossible task. P erhaps al so for underdogs to i mpact the sel f, the scenar ios must be more e moti onally en gaging than the stim ulus mat eria l used in Study 4. F uture s tudie s mi g ht usefully addres s subt le diffe rences bet we en the domai ns i n which underdo gs operate and struggle to overc ome t he com pe tit ion (i.e ., polit ics, sports


8 1 and business). I n politics, fo r example, t he current finding of l ooming succe ss was not acc ompan ied by sig nificant support for the underdog. Other studi es i n this rea lm f ound som e s upp ort for t he bandwagon effect whic h refers to an i ncrea se d tende ncy to supp ort the candidate wh o is in fact, leading and ga ining i n the pol ls, ra ther t han to a trail i ng c ontend er (McAllis ter & S tudler, 1991; Si mon, 1954). This chan ge of the tide mi ght be associated with self interest (Kim e t al ., unpublished ma nusc ript), a s people potentially per ceive a do main like politics as an i mportant avenue t o influe nce t heir qua lit y of l ife a nd t he future in the broader conte xt. Hence howeve r remot e the underdog vig nett e they are being expose d t o from the ir present sit uati on as voters, they fai l t o exh ibit the underdog effect because t he y feel it i s i mporta nt to support the bette r cand idate. I n other words th ey might be guide d by the not ion that if support for the leading candidat e is s trong, then he/she is superior to t he underdog and, t hus, i s the better cho ice overall In co ntrast, the sports dom ain i s de voi d of far rea chin g im plic ations of the competi tion resolution (i. e., win or loss) and, in t his set ting, pe ople seem to con clusively support underdo gs (Frazier & Snyder, 1991; Kim et al unpublished manuscript ; Va ndel lo et al., in press ). In t his re spe ct, i n the present in vesti gati on of the semantic meani ng of underdog (S tud y 1), it was found to be m ost ly linke d to the sports field given t hat the s port emerged as the only sema nt ic c ate gory wi th speci fi c, domain rel ated asso ciat es t hat were in cluded in the associ at ive ma p ( i.e., f ootball ), whil e neither polit ics nor busi ness terms were mention ed as associat es. I t is possible t hat, wh en it comes to percept ions about unde rdo g e ntit ies, dom ain


8 2 spec ificity i s dependent on ho w the underdog/t op dog ali gnment i s de term ined initia ll y across dom ains. Specifically, buyers in the business real m or voters in t he poli tical arena dete rmine t he st ren gth of each competito r by eit he r thei r purchasing beha vior or voting tendencies, respectiv ely while in sports bett ing may be an index of re lat ive stre ng th but the wagers are not th e reason wh y a cont ender is ex pe cte d to do we ll or not but rather a reflection of i ts rel ative strength. Thus, t he boundary condi tions of the unde rdog eff ect in the variou s domai ns s hould be delineated a nd explore d further. A differ ent avenue fo r future exploration may focus on underdog support a s a beh avior w hich is intend ed to make the indi vidual di st inct from others and t hus satisf y the need for uni quenes s (Sn yder & Fromki n, 1977 ). T his human m otiva tion seems to be a welcome gu est when in formation on how most people behave or t hink is rea dily avai lable. T he end result of supporting the underdog m ay be sim ila r t o that whi ch is prop os ed by t he ut il itarian approach but the i mpet us i s c lea rly diffe re nt. Thus, rat her than self shieldi ng from an av ersive emotional sta te (as a ut il itari an approa ch woul d suggest) an underdog supporter may seek to different iat e him se lf or hersel f from the m ajority of the people and is therefore w illing to ris k the hi gh emot ional st ake s just t o be able to stand alone from t he crowd. L astly, only ane cdotal evidence is available re garding how robust the und erdog effe ct is across cul tu res. Based on the u biquit y of t he underdog story in re ligi on and mythology it seems plausible to assu me t hat i t is evide nt ac ross differe nt nat ional, racial and ethnical di vides. However, no explorat ion into t his real m has been c onducted. It is


8 3 possible tha t som e variants of underdog support ex ist cross c ultural ly, such as a proposal made by an Aust rali an s ociologis t (The Underdog ) that in his countr y t he under dog need not to prevai l as wh at matters to ensure th e support of the peopl e is the att itude of taking on t he powerful es tablishment. As a result, fa ili ng i s pe rfect ly ac cept able and even admira b le. Thi s notion is in d irect contrast to the underdog ent iti es de pict ed for example in the Ameri can folklore.


8 4 L i st of Referenc es Associated Press (20 07, Januar y 24). Obama: Name not an advant age in campaign. R etrieved May 15, 2007, from w /news/2007/01/24/D8 MRL7M80.htm l Bayen, U. J., Phel ps, M. P ., & S paniol, J. (2000). Age rel ate d differenc es in the use of c on textual i nformat ion in recognition mem ory: A g lobal m atc hing appro ach. J ou rn al of Gerontology, 55, 131 141 Bar tlett, F. C. (1932). Remem ber ing: A study in experiment al and social psyc hology N ew York: Cam bri dge Univers ity Press. Br ansford, J. D., & F ranks, J. J. (1971). The abstract ion of li ngu i st ic i deas. Cognitive P sychology, 2, 331 350. Br ickman, P., Coates, D., & Janoff Bulm an, R. (1978). Lott ery Wi nners a nd accidental v i ctims: Is happiness relative? Jour nal o f Pe rsonali ty and Soci al Psycho logy, 35 9 1 7 9 27. Br igham, N L., K els o, K. A. J acks on, M. A., & Smi th, R. H. (1997). T he roles of i n vidious com pa ri son and des ervingness i n sym path y a nd scha denfreude. Basic a n d Applied Soci al Psychology, 19 363 380.


8 5 Chiu, C. Y., Dweck, C. S., Tong, J. Y., & Fu, H. Y. (1997). Impli cit theori es a n d c on ceptions of morality Jour nal of Personali ty and Soci al Psychol ogy, 73 923 9 4 0. Cec i, S J & Kain, E. L (1982). Jumping on t he bandwagon wi th the underdog: The i mpact of atti tude polls on polling behavior. Publ ic Opini on Quarterly 46 228 2 4 2. Cohen, J. (1992). A pow er primer. Psychol ogical Bull eti n, 112, 155 159. Cra mer, P. (1968). Word Association. Ne w York: Acade mic Press. Deese, J. (1959). On the prediction of oc currence of parti cular ve rbal i ntrusions in i mmedia te re cal l. Journal of Exper im ental Psych ol ogy, 58, 17 22. Deese, J. (1965). The Structur e of As soci ations in Language and Thought Baltimor e, M D: T he Johns Hop kins Pres s. Deutsc h, M. (1975). Equity, equality, and nee d: W hat det ermi nes whic h value s will be u sed as the basis for distributive ju stice ? J ournal of Social Issues, 31 137 149. Deutsc h, M. (1985). Distributive jus tice: A social psy chologi cal perspect ive New H av en, CT: Yal e U niversity P ress Dignan, M. H (1965). Ego identity and m ate rna l i de ntifi cat ion. Journal of P ersonalit y a n d Social Psycholo gy, 1 476 483. Dw eck, C. S., Chiu, C., & H ong, Y. (1995). Impl ici t the ori es and the ir role i n judg ments a nd reactions: A w ord f rom two perspect ives. Psyc hologic al Inquiry, 6 267 285.


8 6 Engl ish, A. (2002, January 8). Id like to be t he underdog a ga in. St. P ete rsburg Times. R etrieved A pril 15, 2007, from w ww.spti Fe st inger, L. (1954). A theory of s ocial compari son proc esse s. Human R elat ions, 7 117 1 4 0. Fra zier, J. A., & Snyder, E. E. (1991). The underdog c oncept i n spor t Sociol ogy of S p ort Journal, 8 38 0 388. Goldschmied, N (2005). T he Underdog eff ect: Def init ion, li mi tati ons, and motivations. W hy do we support thos e at a com petitive di sadv antage? Unpubli shed maste r's t h esi s, Uni versity of South Florida, Tampa. H ausch, D B., & Ziemba, W. T. (1985). Transact ions costs, exte nt of ineffi cie ncies, e nt ries and mul tipl e w agers in a racetrack bet ting m odel. Management Sci ence, 3 1 381 394. Heider, F. (1958). The ps ychology of int erpe rsonal rel ations New York: Wil ey Hyper Dict ionary Online (2004). Retrieved Ma y 23, 2004, from h t tp://www.hyperdiction spx?define =under dog Jenk ins J J., & Palermo, D. S. (1964). Word Associat ion Norms Mi nneapol is: U n iversity o f Minnesota Pres s. Joiner, T. E., Hol l ar, D., & Van Orden, K. (2006). On Bucke ye s, Gat ors, Super Bowl S unday, and the Mir acle on Ice: Pulling t ogethe r is associat ed with l ower s u ici de rates. Journal of Social and Clini cal P syc hology, 25 179 195. Kagan, J. (1968). The co ncept of Id entif i cati on. Psychol ogical Revi ew, 65 296 3 05.


8 7 Kahneman, D., & T versk y. A (1972). Subje ctive probabil ity: A j udgm ent of r epresentati veness. C ognitive Psychology, 3, 430 454. Kahneman, D., & T versk y. A (1973). Avail abil it y: A he uristic for j udging frequen cy a nd proba bi lity. Cog nitive Psychology, 5, 207 232. Kahneman, D., & T versk y. A (1979). Prospect T heory: An analysi s of de cision under r isk. Econ om etrica, 47, 263 292. Kahneman, D., & T versk y. A (1984). Choi ces, value s, a nd fra mes. Americ an P sycholog ist, 39, 341 350. Kelley, H. H. (1972). Caus al schemata and t he att ributi on process. In E E. Jones D. E. K an ouse H. H Kel ley, R. E. Nisbett, S Val ins, & B. W eine r (Eds.), Att ributi on: P erceiving t he causes of behavior. Morri st own, NJ: Genera l Lea rnin g Press. Kelman, H. C. (1961). Process of Opinion Change. P ublic Opi nion Quarte rly, 25 57 78. Kim, J., Alli son, S. T, Eylon, D, G oethals, G. R., Markus, M. J. & Hindl e, S. M., & M cGuire, H. A. (unpublis hed manus cript ). Rooti ng for (and t hen Aband oning) t h e Underdog. Kuc era, H., & Francis W. N. (1967). Computat ional analy si s of pre se nt day Am erican E ngl is h. Providence, RI : Brow n Universit y Press. Leach, C. W ., Spe ars, R., Branscombe, N. R., & Doosj e, B. (2003). Mal ici ous pleasure: S chadenfreude at t he suffering of another group. Journal of Personal ity & Soci al P sychology, 84 932 943. Lof tus, E. F. (1979). Eyewitness tes timo ny Cam bri dge, MA: Harv ard Uni versity Pr ess.


8 8 Lof tus, E. F., & Pa lmer, J. C. (1974). Reconstruc tion of aut omobil e destruct ion: An e xample of the int eraction betw een langua ge and m emory. Journal of V erbal L earning and Verbal Behavior, 13, 585 589. Mar kus, M. J., McGuire, H A., Allis on, S., & E yl on, D. (2004). Why pe ople root for the u n der dog: The mediating role of social i dent ity Unpubli she d manuscrip t: U n iversity o f Ri chmond. Mar kus, H., & Nurius, P (1986). Poss ib le sel ves. A me ri can Psychol ogist, 41 954 969. McA llister, I., & Studlar, D. T. (1991). Bandwa go n, unde rdog, or proj ect ion? Opinion p o lls and elect oral ch oic e in Britain, 1979 1987. Journal of Poli tic s, 53 720 741. Mel l ers, B. A., Schwartz, A., H o, K., & Ritov, I. (1997). Deci si on affect theor y: E mo tional react ions to the outcomes of ri sk y opt ions. Psychol ogi cal Sc ie nce, 8, 4 2 3 4 29. Mer curio, J. (2004, January 21). Dems gea r up i n Ne w Ham pshi re. CNN. Retr ieved F ebru ary 10, 2004, fr om w 2004/ALL POLITICS /01/21/ ele c04.prez .mai n/ index .ht ml. Mer riam We bst er, Online (2004). Retrieved May 23, 2004, from w ww.m bin/d ictionary?book=Dict io na ry& va=underdog&x=16& y=8. Miller, D. T., & Rat ner, R. K. (1998). Th e dispari ty betwee n the a ctual and assumed p o wer of self inte rest. Journal of Perso nalit y & Soci al Psychol ogy, 74, 53 62. Nelson, D. L., McEvo y, C. L., & Schreiber, T. A. (2004). The Un iv ersi ty of South F lorida free assoc iation, rhyme, and word fra gment norms. Behavi or R esearch


8 9 M ethods Instruments & C om puters 36, 402 407. Nelson, D, L., McKinney, V M., Gee, N. R., & Jancz ura, G. A. (1998). Inte rpreting the i n flu enc e of im plici tly ac tivated memories on rec all and recogni tion. P sychological Review, 105, 299 324. Nelson, D. L., & Schreiber, T. A. (1992) Word concre tene ss and word st ructure as i n dependent det ermin ants of recall. Jou rnal of Memory and Language 3 1, 237 2 6 0. Nie tzsc he F. (1967 ). On the genealogy of moral s (W. Ka ufmann & R. J. H olli ngdale, T ran s.). New York: R andom Hous e. (Origi nal work publi shed 1887) Nisb et, R. E., & Ross L. (1980). H uman inf ere nce: strate gies and shortc omi ngs of s o cial judgm ent. Englewood Cliff s, N J: Pre ntic e Hall Nisb ett, R. E ., Borg ida, E., Crandall, R., & Reed, H. (1976). Popular i nducti on: I nfo rmation is not alw ays informative In J. Carroll & J. Pa yne (Eds.), Cognit ion a n d social behavior Hillsdale, NJ: L awrence Erlba um Associ ates. Pra t t o, F., Sidanius, J., St allw orth, L. M. & Ma lle B. F. (1994). Socia l domi nance o rientation: A personality variable predicti ng soc ial and poli tic al at tit udes. J ou rn al of Personality and Social Ps ychology, 67 741 763. Quinn, D. M., & C rocker J. (1999) When ide ology hurts: Effec ts of beli ef in t he P rot es tant Et hic and feeling overweight on the psyc hologic al well being o f w o men. Journal of Personality and Social Psychol ogy 77 402 414.


9 0 Roediger, L. R., & McDermott, K B. (1 995). Cre ati ng false m emo rie s: Reme mber ing w o rds not present ed in lis ts Journal of E xperimental Psychol ogy: Le arn ing, M emory a nd Cogni tion. 21, 803 814. Ross, L. (1977). The intuitive psy chologist and h is shortc omings: Distorti ons i n the a ttribution process. In L. Berkowitz (E d.), Advanc es in expe ri me ntal social p sycholog y Ne w York: Academic Press Sac hs, O. (1967). Distinctions between fant asy a nd real ity e lem ents in me mory and r econstruct ion. International Journal of Psycho Anal ysis, 48, 416 423. Sh epperd, J. A., & McNult y, J. K. (2002). The a ffect ive c onsequ ences of expe cted and u n expected out comes. Psychological Scie nce, 13 85 88. Sida nius J, & Prat to, F. (1999). Social dominance : A n inte rgroup the ory of social h i erar chy and oppress io n New York: Cam bridge Unive rs i ty Press. Simon, H. (1954). Band wagon and underdog effe cts and t he possi bili ty of ele ction p rediction s. Publ ic Opinion Quarter ly, 18 245 253. Sk it ka, L J., & Tet lo ck, P E. (1992). Alloc ati ng sca res resources: A conti ngency model o f distributi ve justi ce. Jour nal of Experi me ntal Soc ial P syc hology, 28 491 522. Slov ic, P ., F ischhoff B., & Lichtenstein, S. (1982). Fac ts versus fea rs: Unde rsta nding p erceived ri sk In D. K ahneman, P. S lovi c, & A. Tversky (Eds.), Judgment under u n certainty : H euri stics an d bias es Cambridge Unive rsi ty Press.


9 1 Smi t h, R. H., T urner, T. J., G aronzik, R., Le ach, C. W ., Druskat, V. U., & Weston, C. M. ( 1996 ). Envy and schadenfreude. Personali ty and Soci al Psyc hology Bu lle ti n, 2 2 158 168. Sn yder, C. R., & F ro mkin, H. L. (19 77). Abnorm ali ty as a posit ive cha ract eristic: The d ev elopment and validation of a scale mea suri ng need for unique ness. Journal of A bnor mal Psycholog y, 5, 518 527. Ston e, J., Perr y, W., & D arley, J. M. (1997). W hite m an ca nt jum p : Evi dence f or the p er ceptual confirmation of racial stereotypes following a ba ske tbal l game. Basic a n d Applied Soci al Psychology, 19, 291 306. Stot l and, E., Zander, A ., & N atsoulas T. (1961). Genera liz ati on of inte rpe rsona l s i milarity. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 62 250 256. Tajf el, H. (Ed. ) (1978). Differ entiation be tween soci al groups: St udies in the social p sycholog y of int erg roup relations New York: Academ ic Press. Tajf el, H., & Turner, J. C. (1986). The soc ial ident it y t heory of inte rgroup behavior. In S Wo rchel & W. A ustin (Eds.), Ps ychology of i ntergroup re lati ons (2nd e d., pp. 724). Chic ago, IL: Nelson Hall. Tesser, A. (1991). Emotion in s ocial com parison and refl ect ion processes. In J. Suls & T A. Wills (E ds.), Social com parison: Contemporary theory and research (pp. 1 1 5 1 45). Hi llsdale, New Jersey: L aurenc e Erl baum. The Underdog Retrieved May 15, 2007, from w ww.convict creat ion

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9 2 Tiger, L. (1979). Optimism: The biology of hope. New York: Simon & Schuster. Tulv i ng. E. (1983). Elements of epis odic memory. New York: Oxford Uni versity Press. Vandello, J. A., Goldschmied N., & Richa rds, D. A. (i n press). Th e appea l of the u n derdog. Personality & Social Ps ychology B ulle tin Web er, M. (1904). T he Protestant ethic and the spirit of capi tali sm. (T. Parsons, Tr ans.). N ew York: Charl es Scribners Sons Wills, T. A. (1991). Sim ilarity and self este em i n downward com parison. In J. Su ls & T A. Wills (E ds.), Social com parison: Contemporary theory and research (pp. 5 1 78 ). Hi ll sdal e, New Jersey: L aurence Erl baum.

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9 3 A ppendices

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9 4 A ppendix A: St udy 1 Materials I General instructio ns for participants 95 I I. Test ing Page 96

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9 5 I NSTRUC TI ONS I would like you t o help me find out w hat words peopl e comm only thi nk of as being ass ociat ed with certain words. In the com ing page you wi ll see words, each of which has a bl ank next to it. Your tas k wil l be t o writ e in e ach bl ank the fi rst word you thi nk of that m eans the same thing as or is st rongl y assoc iat ed wi th the word pri nted on the page. It does not matter what word you wri te. However, pl ease do not use names of peo ple, places, teams or mov ies. There are no ri ght or wrong answers. For example, if the word were ARM you might w rite LE G. If t he word we re DOG you mi ght writ e CAT or PUPP Y. The prop er wa y of i ndica ting t he word i s: ARM LEG DOG PUP PY Be sure to print your w ords as clearl y as possibl e, and do not worry if you are nt sur e how to spel l a w ord. Spell it as best you can. Wor k a s fa st as possibl e, and be s ure to writ e only a sing le wo rd in e ach blank.

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9 6 UN DERDO G ____________________ DO UBT ____________________ FEATHERS ____________________ TOW ____________________ PARKING ____________________ ELEC TRIC ____________________

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9 7 A ppendix B: Study 2 Materials I General instructio ns for vignettes 98 I I. S ports Dom ain Vignettes and questi onna ire a Une qu al comp etition, dis advantage word i n the t ext 99 b Une qu al comp etition, underdog word in t he te xt 100 c Sports Questi onnaire 101 I II. P ol iti cs Domain Vignettes and que st ionnaire a Une qu al comp etition, dis advantage word i n the t ext 102 b Une qu al comp etition, underdog wo rd in t he te xt 103 c Politics Q uesti onnaire 104 I V. Business D omain V ignettes and questionna ire a Une qu al comp etition, dis advantage word i n the t ext 105 b Une qu al comp etition, underdog word in t he te xt 106 c Business Q ue sti onnaire 107

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9 8S urvey of Public OpinionThis que sti onnaire ex plores peoples attitudes and be lie fs a bout the soci al world surr ounding us. O n the follow ing pages, you wil l read a short arti cle. You will be asked a number of questi ons p ertaining to its cont ent and your fe elin gs about it. T here ar e no right or wron g answers here; we are simpl y i nter ested in pe oples opini ons. Feel fr ee to read the artic le as many times as you w ish whe n answe ring the que st ions. Please turn the pag e to b egin the qu estionnai re.

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9 9

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1 0 0

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1 0 1O p in ion s Questi onnaire Plea se Circle your gender : F MBased o n the short article, which you read just now, we ar e in terested in your opinions. There are no right or w rong answer s. Please circ le the mo st correct a nswer in yo u r opinion. 1 How like ly d o you think are the Melbourne Drago ns to win t his gam e? [0 100% r a nge] ____ % 2 How much do you support them?N ot a t all Somewhat agains t Spli t Somewhat support Suppo rt fully3 D o you t hink the Melbour ne Dr ag ons are a disa dv a ntaged t eam?N o I don t know Yes4 Wo uld you conside r them an underdog?N o I don t know Yes

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1 0 4O p in ion s Questi onnaire Plea se Circle your gender : F MBased o n the short article, which you read just now, we ar e in terested in your opinions. There are no right or w rong answer s. Please circ le the mo st correct a nswer in yo u r opinion. 1. How lik ely d o you thin k is John M elbo urne to win t his e lections ? [0 100% r a nge] ____ % 2. How much d o you support John Melbo urne?Not at all Somewhat ag ains t Spli t Somewhat support Suppo rt fully3. Do you think John M elbourne is th e disadva ntaged c andidate ?N o I don t know Yes4. Would you cons ider h im the underdo g?N o I don t know Yes

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1 0 7O p in ion s Questi onnaire Plea se Circle your gender : F MBased o n the short article, which you read just now, we ar e in terested in your opinions. There are no right or w rong answer s. Please circ le the mo st correct a nswer in yo u r opinion. 1. How lik ely d o you thin k is the Grand H eav en Inc. t o wi n the t ender? [0 100% r a nge] ____ % 2. How much d o you support Grand Hea ven Inc. ?1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9N ot at a ll Mildly Very muc h3. How much d o you support T he Perth firm?1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9N ot at a ll Mildly Very muc h4. Do you think that Grand Heaven Inc. is t he disadva ntaged side?N o I don t know Yes5. Would you cons ider Grand He aven Inc. t he underdog?N o I don t know Yes

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1 0 8 A ppendix C: S tudy 3 Materials I General instruction s for the task (1st scree n) 109 I I. S ports Vignettes (2nd s creen) a Before th e com petition 110 b After the competition, a surprise win 111 c Aft er the competition, a predicted lo se 112 I II. Distract er Task (3rd screen) 113 I V. Inst ruct ions before practice recognit ion ta sk (5t h scre en) 115 V Inst ruct ions before underdog reco gni tion t ask 116 V I. S timul i for u nderdog recognition t ask 117 V II. Co nfi dence Ranking ques tion 118 V III. Mani pul ati on Check ques tion 119

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1 0 9Welcome to the Experiment on Reading Comprehension & Spatial ability. You are about to be presented with two short paragraphs. Read them thoroughly as you will be asked questions about them later. Once you are done reading, let the research assistant know. To begin reading the paragraph hit the space bar.

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1 1 0In NCAA womes softball national champions are crowned through a tournament among the sixteen top-ranked teams in the country. Since the present seeding system began, No. 16 seeds have never beaten No. 1 seeds in 88 games. However, there is an obvious difference this year. The 16th ranked ladies of American State University, who barely made it to the National tournament, believe they can beat the almighty Lady Hurricanes of Montana Southern who are ranked No. 1. Bill Dulles, the head coach for the lowest ranked American State team said before the game: We struggled mightily to be were we are now at but we can surprise any team even last years reigning champions, Montana Southern. Surprise wins are the essence of the tournament! In recent years, the national softball tournament has become big business with annual revenues reaching the 10 million mark, all games being broadcasted on TV and teams vying for big-time exposure.

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1 1 1In NCAA womes softball national champions are crowned through a tournament among the sixteen top-ranked teams in the country. Since the present seeding system began, No. 16 seeds have never beaten number 1 seeds in 88 games. However, there was an obvious difference this year. Bill Dulles, the head coach for the lowest ranked American State team said before the game:We struggled mightily to be were we are now at but we can surprise any team even last years reigning champions, Montana Southern. Surprise wins are the essence of the tournament! The 16th ranked ladies of American State University, who barely made it to the National tournament, did beat eventually the almighty Lady Hurricanes of Montana Southern who were ranked No. 1. In recent years, the national softball tournament has become big business with annual revenues reaching the 10 million mark, all games being broadcasted on TV and teams vying for big-time exposure.

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1 1 2In NCAA womes softball national champions are crowned through a tournament among the sixteen top-ranked teams in the country. Since the present seeding system began, No. 16 seeds have never beaten number 1 seeds in 88 games. This year was no different. The 16th ranked, ladies of American State University, who barely made it to the National tournament, believed that they could beat the almighty Lady Hurricanes of Montana Southern ranked No. 1. Bill Dulles, the head coach for the lowest ranked American State team said before the game:We struggled mightily to be were we are now at but we can surprise any team even last years reigning champions, Montana Southern. Surprise wins are the essence of the tournament! However, his team ultimately lost the game. In recent years, the national softball tournament has become big business with annual revenues reaching the 10 million mark, all games being broadcasted on TV and teams vying for big-time exposure.

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1 1 3A sweltering heat wave gripped most of the nation today, with high temperatures in the 90s expected in nearly every state, and 100-degree heat predicted in many places in the Northeast and southern Plains states. Excessive-heat warnings were issued by the National Weather Service for eastern Pennsylvania, most of New Jersey and the St. Louis area. Because of high humidity, the weather there will feel much hotter than the thermometer reading, the Weather Service said. For example, 60 percent humidity makes 90degree weather feel like 100 degrees. The agency advised people to stay indoors as much as possible and drink nonalcoholic fluids to avoid dehydration. Heat is the single largest natural killer of Americans in the continental United States, causing the death of 175 people in an average year, the agency said more than lightning, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or earthquakes. The Weather Service warned in particular against keeping children or pets in cars, even for a short time.

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1 1 4Temperatures in a car with windows up can reach over 150 degrees, quickly resulting in heat stroke and death,the service said.

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1 1 5On the next screen, you will be shown graphic symbols. Learn them carefully. After you study the symbols, you will be asked to recognize if the symbols appeared or not on the previous screen. Hit the 'L' key if you think the symbol did show up. Hit the 'A' key if you think the symbol did not show up. Place your 'pointer' fingers on the keys. A Brief '+' sign will show up before each symbol. Try to be as accurate and fast as possible. When you are ready, hit the space bar.

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1 1 6Now recall the "NCAA Championship" paragraph that you read to begin the experiment. Next, you will be shown words on the screen. Some words appeared in the paragraph and some did not. Hit the 'L' key if you think the word did show up. Hit the 'A' key if you think the word did not show up. Place your 'pointer' fingers on the keys. A Brief '+' sign will show up before each symbol. Try to be as accurate and fast as possible. Hit the space bar when ready.

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1 1 7tournament basketball underdog softball expectations beat almighty strong emotional hope

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1 1 8Please state how sure were you in regards to the word: underdog 1Not sure at all 2Somewhat confident 3Confident 4Very confident

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1 1 9Who won the game eventually? 1-the 16th ranked team 2-the 1st ranked team 3-the game was not played yet 4-do not remember

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1 2 0 A pp endix D: Stud y 4 Materials I S ports Vignettes, prior to w atching t he basket ball cli p a Tau sch adenfrue de eliciting vignet te 121 b Panathi naikos schadenf ruede eliciting vignet te 122 c Tau underdog support eliciting vignett e 123 d Panathi naikos underdog support eli cit ing vigne tte 124 I I. Mem or y Ques tionnaire for vignet te 125 a Memory Questio nnaire for clip Tau 126 b Memory Ques tionnaire for clip Panathi naikos 127 I II. S upport and Identification Ques ti onnaire 128 I V. S tate Self Esteem Qu estionnaire 130 V P rote st ant Ethic Q ues tionnair e 132 V I. Impl icit Theories of Morality S cal e 133

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1 2 1You a re about to w atch two of the best baske tball teams in Eu r o p e fightin g on the la st re ma ining spot in the pre stigious Eu ro pean cup semi finals. Tau from Spain has alwa ys dom ina t e d Panathin aiko s fro m Greece and th e two teams expe rience s trong animosity to wards each other. Betting on th e final score show that 90% of the m oney is plac ed on Tau to win th e game handily. Tau has b ee n the mo st succe ssful c lub in Eur op e winning th e cup 3 times consecut ively a nd is enjoying an overwhelmin g $ 107 million pa yr oll, w hich is almos t 5 times mo re than the ave rage of $21 millio n and ea sily qu alifies it as the r ichest clu b in the continent. In co ntr ast, Panathinak os, the under do g, has a mere $22 mi llion pa yroll. We wo uld like to te st your baske tball analys is an d pre dictio ns sk ills to guess the final score based on the data pr ov ided he re a nd a sh o rt clip o f th e final sta ges of the ga me itse lf. Are there a ny qu estions befo re we b egin?

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1 2 2You a re about to w atch two of the best baske tball teams in Eu r o p e fightin g on the la st re ma ining spot in the pre stigious Eu ro pean cup semi finals. Panathinaikos fr om Gree ce ha s always domin ated T au fro m S p ain and th e two teams expe rience s trong animosity to wards each other. Betting on th e final score show that 90% of the m oney is plac ed on Panathinaik os to win the ga me handily. Panathinaikos has been the mos t s uc cessful club in Eu ro pe winning the cup 3 ti mes consecutive ly a nd is enjoying an ov erwhelmin g $107 million payr oll, which is 5 times more tha n the av era ge o f $21 million and easily qualifies it as the riches t c lub in the continent. In contrast, Tau the underd og has a mere $22 m illion pay roll. We wo uld like to te st your baske tb all analys is an d pre dictio ns sk ills to guess the final score based on the data pr ov ided he re a nd a sh o rt clip o f th e final sta ges of the ga me itse lf. Are there a ny qu estions befo re we b egin?

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1 2 3You a re about to w atch two of the best ba ske tball teams in Eu r o p e fightin g on the la st re ma ining spot in the pre stigious Eu ro pean cup semi finals. Panathinaikos fr om Gree ce ha s always domin ated T au fro m S p ain and th e two teams expe rience s trong animosity to wards each other. Betting on th e fina l score show that 90% of the m oney is plac ed on Panathinaik os to win the ga me handily. Tau, the underdo g, has failed repe atedly to ma ke the semi fin als in r ecen t years an d has a mea ger $5 million payroll in compar ison to an av erage payr oll of $2 1 million of te ams taking par t in th e cup. T his budget qualif ies it as th e poorest club in Europe. Panathinaikos, in co n trast, has a payro ll of $22 mill ion. We wo uld like to te st your baske tball analys is an d pre dictio ns sk ills to guess the final score based on t he data pr ov ided he re a nd a sh o rt clip o f th e final sta ges of the ga me itse lf. Are there a ny qu estions befo re we b egin?

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1 2 4You a re about to w atch two of the best baske tball teams in Eu r o p e fightin g on the la st re ma ining spot in the pr e stigious Eu ro pean cup semi finals. Tau from Spain has alwa ys dom ina t e d Panathin aiko s fro m Greece and th e two teams expe rience s trong animosity to wards each other. Betting on th e final score show that 90% of the m oney is plac ed on Panathinaik os to win t he ga me handily. Panathinaikos, the underdog, has fa iled r epeated ly to make the s emi f inals in recent yea rs and has a mea ge r $5 million p ayr oll in comp arison to an averag e payroll of $21 m i llion of te ams taking par t in th e cup. T his budg et qualifies it a s the poorest club in Europe. Tau in con tra st, has a payro ll of $22 mill ion. We wo uld like to te st your baske tball analys is an d pre dictio ns sk ills to guess the final score based on the data pr ov ided he re a nd a sh o rt clip o f th e final sta ges of the ga m e itse lf. Are there a ny qu estions befo re we b egin?

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125MemoryQuestionnaire Didyourecognizeanyoftheplayersfrompastgames?Ifso,who? Whoistheunderdogteam(pleasecircle)?Panathinaikos Tau NeitherWhichcountrydoesTaurepresent? ________________ WhichcountrydoesPanathinaikosrepresent? ________________ WhatcolorofuniformdidTauwear? ________________ WhatcolorofuniformdidPanathinaikoswear? ________________ WhatisTauspayroll? ________________ WhatisPanathinaikospayroll?

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1 2 6________________ What is the a ver age budget in Europe ? ________________ In the clip you have just watc he d (if you don t r ecall ex actly, giv e us y o ur bes t estima tion):1 When t he c lip ended, how man y points did Ta u have? _ _____ 2 How many points did Tau score during t h e clip you just w atched? _ _____ 3 How many 3 points shots did Tau make? 0 1 2 3 4 5 or more 4 What was Tau s shooting p ercentage from the foul line ? 50% or less 60% 70% 80% 90% and up 5 How many ti mes did Tau dunk the bal l? 0 1 2 3 or m ore 6 H ow many foul s did Tau commit? 0 1 2 3 4 5 or more

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1 2 7In the clip you have just watc he d (if you don t r ecall ex actly, giv e us y o ur bes t estima tion):1 When the cl ip ended, how man y points did Panathinkai kos have? _ _____ 2 How many points did P anathink aikos score during t he clip you just watched? _ ____ 3 How many 3 points shots did Pa nathi nkaikos make? 0 1 2 3 4 5 or more 4 What was Panathinkaikos s hooting pe rcenta ge from t he foul li ne? 50% or less 60% 70% 80% 90% and up 5 How many ti mes did Pan ath inkaikos dunk the bal l? 0 1 2 3 or m ore 6 How many foul s did Pan ath inkai kos comm it? 0 1 2 3 4 5 or more

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1 2 8 Please a nswer the following ques tions: 1 How much woul d you li ke Tau to win the game? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9Not at all Mild ly Very muc h2 How much woul d you li ke P anathi nai kus to win the game ? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9Not at all Mild ly Very muc h3 How much can you iden tify w ith Tau? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9Not at all Mild ly Very muc h4 How much can you iden tify w ith Panathi naikus? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9Not at all Mild ly Very muc h5 How much do y ou see yourself in team Tau? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9Not at all Mild ly Very muc h6 How much do y ou see yourself in team Panathinaikus? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9Not at all Mild ly Very muc h

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1 2 9 7 How simi lar do you feel to team Tau? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9Not at all Mild ly Very muc h8. How similar do you feel to team Panathinaikus ?1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9Not at all Mild ly Very muc h9 As a first im pres sion, w hich team do you li ke be tter (c ircl e one)? T au Pan athi nai kus 1 0 Not kn owing anythi ng els e ab out the te ams, which team woul d you probably r oo t for (ci rcl e one)? T au Pan athi nai kus 1 1 Wh ich team if any, is the u nd erdog? Why? _________ ________________________________________________________ _______ _________ ____________ ____________________________________________ _______ _________ ________________________________________________________ _______12 Based on the clip you just watched, w hich t eam do y ou thi nk won t he ga me?T au Pan athi nai kus

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1 3 0C urrent Thought sINS TRUC TI O NS: This is a questi onnaire designed to measure what you are t hinking at this mom ent. There is, of course, no right answer for an y statem ent. T he best a nswer is what you fe el is tr ue of yo ursel f at this moment. Be sure to answe r all of t he it ems, even i f you are not certain of th e bes t answer. Again, answ er these questi ons as t hey are true for you RIG HT NOW 1 2 3 4 5 Not at all A little bit Som ewha t Ve ry much Ext remel y 1. I feel confiden t about my abilities. _____ 2. I am worried about whether I am r e ga rded as a succ ess or fai lure. _____ 3. I feel sa tisfied with the way my bo dy l ooks ri ght now. _____ 4. I feel frust rated or rattled about my performa nce. _____ 5. I feel that I am having trouble underst andin g t hings that I re ad. _____ 6. I feel that ot hers respect and admire me _____ 7. I am dissatisfied with my weight. _____ 8. I feel se lf conscious. _____ 9. I feel as smart as others _____ 10. I feel displeased with myself. _____ 11. I feel g ood about myself. _____ 12. I am please w i th my appearance right now. _____ 13. I am worried about what other people think a bout me _____ 14. I feel confiden t that I understand th ings. _____ 15. I feel inferi or to other s at this moment. _____

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1 3 1 16. I feel unat tractive. _____ 17. I feel concerned a bout the impressi on I a m ma king. _____ 18. I feel that I h ave less scholas tic abili ty right now tha n others. _____ 19. I feel li ke I m not doing well. _____ 20. I am worried about not looking foolish. ____

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1 3 2 Please indi cate t he degree to which you a gr ee or disagre e wi th ea ch of the st ate ments below using t he foll owing scale: 1 2 3 4 5 6 Very strongly ag ree A gree Agree s omew hat Disagree s o mewhat Disa gree Very strongly d i sag ree ___1. Most peopl e s pend too much ti me i n unprofi tabl e am use ment s. ___2. Our soc iety would have f ewer problem s i f people had le ss lei sure tim e. ___3. Money acquired eas il y is usually spent unwisely. ___4. Most peopl e w ho don t succeed in l ife are just pla in la zy. ___5. An yone who is will ing and able t o work hard ha s a good chance of suc ceeding ___6. Peo pl e who fail at a job have usual ly not t ried ha rd enough. ___7. Life w oul d have very little meani ng i f we never ha d to suffer. ___8. The person who can appr oach an unpl easant task with e nthusiasm i s t he p er son w h o gets ahead. ___9. If peopl e work hard enou gh they a re like ly to m ake a good l ife for t hemselves. ___10. I feel uneasy w hen there is little work for me to do. ___11. A di st ast e for hard work us ually reflec ts a weakne ss of cha r acte r. ___12. Get ting ahead is a matter of working hard a nd relyi ng only on yourse lf. ___13. Peo pl e are respons ible for their own si tuat ion in l ife. ___14. Peo pl e should not cou nt on other s t o sol ve thei r problem s for t hem. ___15. A person w ho blames others for his or her proble ms is a cop out. ___16. If you w ant to be success ful, all you ha ve t o do i s work hard and i mprove yourself.

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1 3 3 Please indi cate t he degree to which you a gr ee or disagre e wi th ea ch of the st ate ments below: 1 Though s ome phenomena can be changed, it is unlike ly that the c ore dispositions o f th e world can be altered. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Very strongly ag ree A gree Agree s omew hat Disagree s o mewhat Disa gree Very strongly d i sag ree 2 A persons moral character is s omethi ng ve ry ba sic a bout them and it can t be c han ged much. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Very strongly ag ree A gree Agree s omew hat Disagree s o mewhat Disa gree Very strongly d i sag ree 3 You have a c ertain amount of intellig ence a nd you cant do ve ry much t o change i t 1 2 3 4 5 6 Very s trongly ag ree A gree Agree s omew hat Disagree s o mewhat Disa gree Very strongly d i sag ree 4 Our world has its basic and ingrain ed disposi tions, and you real ly c ant do much t o change it 1 2 3 4 5 6 Very strongly ag ree A gree Agree s omew hat Disagree s o mewhat Disa gree Very strongly d i sag ree 5 Wheth er a person is respons ible and sincere or not is dee ply ingrai ned in their p ersonality. It cannot be changed very much. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Very strongly ag ree A gree Agree s omew hat Disagree s o mewhat Disa gree Very strongl y d i sag ree

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1 3 4 6 Your int elli gen ce is something about you t hat you c ant cha nge muc h. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Very strongly ag ree A gree Agree s omew hat Disagree s o mewhat Disa gree Very strongly d i sag ree 7 Some soci etal trends may dominate for a while but the funda me nt al na ture o f our w o rld is somet hing th at cannot be changed m uch. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Very strongly ag ree A gree Agree s omew hat Disagree s o mewhat Disa gree Very strongly d i sag ree 8 There is not much that can be done to change a persons moral t rait s (e .g. c on sc ienti ousness, u prightness, honesty). 1 2 3 4 5 6 Very strongly ag ree A gree Agree s omew hat Disagree s o mewhat Disa gree Very strongly d i sag ree 9 You can learn new things, but you cant rea ll y c hange your basic inte lli genc e. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Very strongly ag r ee A gree Agree s omew hat Disagree s o mewhat Disa gree Very strongly d i sag ree

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A bout the A uthor N ad av Go ldschmied received a Bachelors Degre e, with a m ajor i n Psychol ogy and a minor i n Hi st ory from Bar Ilan Unive rsit y in Israel in 1997. He rece ived a Masters Degree i n Sport Management from Cani si us Col lege a t Buffal o Ne w Y ork in 2001. In 2003, Mr. Golds chmied entered t he Ph.D. program in Cognit ion, Ne uroscience, and Social Ps ychol ogy at the Univers ity o f Sout h Flori da His area of spec ial ty within thi s program w as So cial P sycholog y. Whi le c omplet ing his Ph.D., Mr. Go ldschmied ini ti ate d and dev eloped his programmatic re search on t he underdog construc t under the gu idance of his men tor and advisor, Dr. Jo se ph Vande llo.

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Goldschmied, Nadav.
4 245
The appeal of the underdog :
b definition of the construct and implications for the self
h [electronic resource] /
by Nadav Goldschmied.
[Tampa, Fla.] :
University of South Florida,
3 520
ABSTRACT: From politics to sports to business, people are quick to categorize those at a considerable competitive disadvantage as "underdogs." Moreover, there is ample support that most unattached observers do not hesitate to align themselves with underdogs, a phenomenon termed "the underdog effect." While most dictionary definitions state that underdogs are "especially expected to lose," the present investigation argues that people often attribute optimistic qualities to underdogs and the exceeding of expectations. A series of studies was conducted to examine the lay-person definition of what an underdog means, as well as what motivations may play a role in the underdog effect. Study 1 investigated people's spontaneous definitions of underdogs by exploring the semantic network of the underdog construct through the use of the discrete associations method. Study 2 explored the hypothesized looming success component of being an underdog by asking participants to evaluate future success of underdogs vs. disadvantaged entities. Study 3 utilized the false recognition paradigm to explore schematic memory of success associated with the underdog construct, while the last study assessed whether people do truly support those at a competitive disadvantage or merely root against the favorite, as well as explored the possible role of the self in the underdog effect. Support for the looming success of the underdog was found in the first two studies while the last study demonstrated that strong self-identification with the underdog was highly correlated with support for it. Overall, the results of the current study suggest that people in American society believe that underdogs are unique exemplars which are expected to do significantly better than the initial expectations.
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2007.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic dissertation) in PDF format.
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
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Document formatted into pages; contains 134 pages.
Includes vita.
Advisor: Joseph A. Vandello, Ph.D.
Looming success.
0 690
Dissertations, Academic
x Psychology
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.