Monday, December 24, 2007

The Appeal of the Underdog

"In a series of studies, researchers from the University of South Florida, tested the scope of people’s support for those who are expected to lose, seeking to understand why people are drawn to the Rocky Balboas and the Davids (versus Goliaths) of the world.

Using both sports and political examples, the researchers asked study participants to react to various scenarios presenting different competitors with an advantage or disadvantage. For instance, in one study using the Israeli and Palestinian conflict, the participants were given the same essay about the history of the area, but with different maps to reference – one showing Palestine as smaller than Israel (and thus, the underdog) and the other showing Israel as smaller. No matter what scenario the participants were presented with, they consistently favored the underdog to win.

Why do people support underdogs and find them so appealing" The researchers propose that those who are viewed as disadvantaged arouse people’s sense of fairness and justice – important principles to most people. The researchers also found that people tend to believe that underdogs put forth more effort than top-dogs, but that favorable evaluation disappeared when the underdog status no longer applies, such as when people are expected to lose but have a lot of available resources." Article copied from

Click here to read the complete study.

Do you agree with the findings of this study? Do you really think that the "Appeal of the Underdog" exists? If so, and sticking with the two examples of politics & sports, then please explain:

  • Why don't most people support the Palestinian cause? Modern day Israel is definitely the Goliaths and not the David. It is the only country in the area that owns nuclear weapons. It continuous to occupy & confiscate Palestinian land, confiscate and demolish Palestinian houses, build illegal settlements, build an illegal wall, deny the Palestinian refugees their right of return. It is the only country that is never punished by the Security Council for its crimes because of the US Veto. I can go on and on forever. Can all this be countered by a simple map trick? I am not convinced. Are people choosing between the victims of the Holocaust and the victims of the Zionists? I don’t. I support the victims of the two crimes. Then what more outrageous actions must Israel take for the public opinions to swing into the direction of the Palestinians? Or are the Arabs expected to get any weaker for this to happen? Where is this so-called people’s sense of fairness and justice?
  • Why don't most Egyptians support Zamalek? Not only has this generation of players succeed in becoming the undisputed underdog of all their matches vs Ahly, they even managed to be the underdog in every match they play. So I ask you, why aren't there more Zamalkaweya around? Why do I have to suffer alone? Not fair!

So "Appeal of the Underdog" my foot!! There is no such thing. I must be the exception that proves the rule.

Or, maybe the study results are accurate and there are actually many more supporters of Palestine and Zamalek, but most of those supporters are in hiding, being too intimidated by the Zionist and Ahlawy aggression. Where are you cowards? I demand that you come out of hiding at once, or else!

Fine, just tell me where you are so I can join you in your hiding.

1 comment:

Mohamed Hanno said...

I think the issue is much more compicated than what's put forward by study or your representation of it.
Take for example the Palestinian example. Though the Palestinians are the underdog when compared to Israel but Israel is also perceived as the underdog when pitted against the whole Arab World (funny but true). Add to that that the Jewish people are perceived as persecuted people and (you mentioned it yourself) David is the default symbol of the underdog.
Regarding Zamalek, I should remind you that to be labeled as an underdog you have first to be a 'dog' (i.e. a fighter) but Zamalek is more of a cat or a rabbit.