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There’s a strange phenomenon among Olympic medal winners: athletes who’ve won a silver medal are generally not as happy as those who’ve won a bronze medal. If you didn’t know this, you’re probably scratching your head right now: “Wait, what? Earning third place makes people happier than earning second place?”
But that’s exactly what a study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology discovered. In fact, it’s not only Olympic athletes who are often happier with an objectively worse option. This phenomenon, known as the less-is-better effect, shows up in other contexts as well, such as in gift giving…
As a PhD student, I didn’t just have impostor syndrome. I had a full on case of you’re-a-fumbling-idiot-for-thinking-you’ll-ever-contribute-anything-to-science syndrome. You see, you only get a PhD and get the right to call yourself a scientist if you contribute something new to the vast scientific enterprise. If someone else has already done it, no matter when or where, and even if you don’t know about it, it doesn’t count as novel research and you don’t get to put letters before your name. And that’s scary.
You spend years of your life slaving away in laboratories, hoping to find something no one…
It’s a Friday night when Nicholas Alkemade, a 21-year-old Englishman from Leicestershire, finds himself in the middle of the sky. Although the view and the fresh air are great, he isn’t too happy about the whole situation.
Science fan, cartoonist, PhD, eukaryote. Doesn't eat cats, dogs, nor other animals.