Monday, February 17, 2014

Athletic Victory Dances Are Byproducts of Cultural Norms

A study of many of the athletes from a wide variety of disciplines has shown that human "triumph poses" are fairly consistent across cultures. Popping out one's chest, raising their head in the air and exuberant smiling are all but irresistible to athletes who have experienced victory. Even blind victors share these commonalities with their sighted peers. Yet, differences do exist. The study showed that athletes who came from cultures with greater levels of social equality had more subdued, shorter celebrations than the alternative. Those who came from societies with more rigid social hierarchies put on a more elaborate show, a claim to dominance directed at the other athletes. This is a remnant of the evolution man experienced, serving to assert the chain of command amongst clans members. What's most fascinating is that this behavioral trait effects victories throughout our lives from work to love to the inconsequential activities we participate in. The society we live in asserts influence on our behavior in subtle, yet tangible ways such as this.

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