When I first read that bronze medal winners were happier with their medals than those who won silver, it didn’t seem to make sense. Why would anyone be happier to finish third rather than second ?
Psychologists tell us that those who finish second say to themselves that if only they had been a little faster they might have won gold instead of silver. They bemoan the fact that they fell short of their dream by oh-so-little. On the other hand, bronze medalists are happy that they won a medal, any medal at all. They remind themselves that if they had been just a little slower they would have nothing at all to show for their efforts. … and so they are happier than those who finished ahead of them and got the silver.
Makes sense, doesn’t it ?