Political Contests as Dominance Struggles
Perhaps it's not surprising that people take political results personally. We come to identify with our favored candidate—and sometimes to revile their opponent. When our party wins, we are elated; we it loses, we become dejected. Now a group of researchers has discovered that election results actually have a real physiological effect on us. Analyzing the saliva of voters on election night in 2008, they found that the testosterone levels of men who voted for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) fell by more than 25%, while the testosterone levels of men who voted for Barack Obama stayed the same. Female voters testosterone levels stayed the same, possibly because their testosterone levels are normally lower and generally don't fluctuate as much.
Scientists have found a similar phenomenon among male video gamers: the winner's testosterone levels rise, while the loser's levels drop. They speculate that the changes in testosterone levels, which are linked to aggression and risk-taking, may encourage the winners in a struggle to press their advantage, while keeping the losers from continuing to fight and risking injury. As Steven Stanton, the lead author of the study, explains, "Voters participate in elections both directly by casting their ballots, and vicariously because they don’t personally win or lose the election. This makes democratic political elections highly unique dominance contests."
But if McCain supporters were hanging their heads after Barack Obama's victory, they effect is only temporary. Their side may have lost, but they will be back to fight another day.
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Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.
I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.
- Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
- The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
- The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
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