Should you be more afraid of sore losers or happy winners?
Beware the winners.
Winners are more likely to be aggressive toward losers than vice versa:
Who is more likely to behave aggressively? Is it someone outperformed by others or is it someone who outperformed others? For safety reasons, it is important to know the answer to this question. In Studies 1 and 2, participants were told that they did worse or better than an ostensible partner on a first task. Then they aggressed against this partner on a second task using loud, painful noise blasts. Results showed that participants aggressed more against someone they outperformed (the loser) than against someone who outperformed them (the winner). However, these results do not indicate whether participants were especially aggressive against someone they outperformed, or whether they were especially nonaggressive against someone who outperformed them. Study 3 included a control group and showed it was the former. These studies suggest that one should pay particular attention to winners rather than losers, because winners tend to aggress against losers.
Source: “Are People More Aggressive When They Are Worse Off or Better Off Than Others?” from Social Psychological and Personality Science
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