Study Defines Universal “Look Of Triumph”
You’ll see it at the Olympics. You may see it at the tennis club or at a middle school soccer game, and it will always be the same. The universal gesture of triumph, as identified by researchers at San Francisco State University, looks a little scary: athletes raise their arms above the shoulders, clench their fists and either yell or twist their face into an unwelcoming grimace. A San Francisco State news release reports that participants in the study were asked to look at photographs of judo competitors from 17 countries, who had just won a medal match at the 2004 Olympic Games. They were then asked to judge the emotion portrayed by choosing an emotion from a list. Now the scary part: In the photographs that the participants labeled triumph, athletes raised their arms above the shoulders, clenched their fists and their faces showed grimaces or mouths yelling. In the photographs labeled pride, athletes held their arms out from their body with their hands open, tilted their head back and their face showed a small smile. The researchers are convinced that expressions of triumph are a declaration of one’s success or performance whereas expressions of pride stem from feeling good about one’s self, which requires time for self-evaluation. How do they know? Triumph expressions occurred, on average, 4 seconds after the end of the judo match. Pride expressions occurred, on average, 16 seconds after the end of the match. Read more from San Francisco State University.