Culture shapes people's view of winners

Feb 09, 2006

Everyone has theories of what it takes to win an Olympic gold medal and now a Stanford University study suggests the theories vary according to culture.

The researchers found when U.S. athletes and commentators explain exceptional performance, they emphasize the individual's athletic strength and skill, such as powerful feet, robotic stride and mental toughness.

But the study showed Japanese focus on athletes' training and preparation, such as studying judo since elementary school or overcoming previous athletic failures.

Japanese athletes and media are also more likely than Americans to believe the contribution of coaches and the athlete's emotional state are important factors in winning, the researchers said.

"By analyzing the products people make and consume we find that people understand the 'same' world very differently," lead author Hazel Rose Markus said. "If we don't understand the context-specific theories or models that others are using ... we are likely to seriously misunderstand the behavior of others."

The research appears in the current issue of Psychological Science.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Experts examine bones as Spain hunts for Cervantes' remains (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

All together now – three evolutionary perks of singing

Dec 24, 2014

We're enjoying the one time of year when protests of "I can't sing!" are laid aside and we sing carols with others. For some this is a once-a-year special event; the rest of the year is left to the professionals ...

How to teach all students to think critically

Dec 18, 2014

All first year students at the University of Technology Sydney could soon be required to take a compulsory maths course in an attempt to give them some numerical thinking skills. ...

On the trail of ski research

Mar 14, 2013

This winter, the Norwegian ski manufacturer Madshus unveiled a new pair of trailblazing skis. The innovation comes as the result of highly targeted research and development efforts.

Recommended for you

Young people overly optimistic about finances

Jan 23, 2015

A new survey of young New Zealanders by the Westpac-Massey Fin-Ed Centre shows that many believe their financial situation will improve in the coming year and their money management skills require no improvement.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.