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: UC Santa Barbara receives $65M from Munger

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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

Family financing is anything but foolish

1 hour ago

Borrowing money from a family member or friend to start a business is often considered dangerous, both financially and emotionally, however new research conducted by an entrepreneurial expert at the University of Adelaide ...

How people respond to a catastrophe on social media

2 hours ago

When an earthquake hits, it makes more than just seismic waves. Extreme events such as earthquakes, tsunamis, and terrorist attacks also produce waves of immediate online social interactions, in the form ...

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.