Losing elections hurts

For those committed to a political party, losing an election hurts – according to US research. Fortunately though, the disappointment seems to last only a week.

In insignificant contrast, supporters of winning parties get only a very minor lift in their state of happiness. This miniscule lift also only lasts a week.

According to Science Daily, the researchers said:

“We find that partisan identity is even more central to the self than past research might have suggested,” the researchers write. “In addition to affecting thinking, preferences, and behavior, it also has sizable hedonic consequences, especially when people experience partisan losses.”

The research helps explain some of the allure of supporting parties. I suspect the alignment of ideology makes the support more personally affirming. Therefore, the fortunes of your political party are going to be felt more keenly than, say, supporting a sporting team.

I love though, that the effect quickly wears off. The brain has an amazing capacity to forget the pain, or to move on to new fears.

I’m wondering what this really says about political supporters. Are affiliations really not that strong?

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