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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Election Night: Dealing with Winning or Losing

Election Night: Dealing with Winning or Losing

This election was a historic event whether you were a Republican, Democrat, or Independent. We will investigate some of the psychological impacts of winning and losing an election.

Where there any psychological superstitions or rituals that played in this election?

• McCain carried a lucky penny, lucky nickel, and a lucky quarter. He also carries a lucky compass and a lucky feather
• Obama always plays a round of basketball and shoots some hoops before a big election
• Candidates know they may be at the mercy of unpredictable factors beyond their control, and performing some rituals are something you can control to feel some empowerment.

What are some typical reactions associated with losing?

• Sadness and depression. Candidates may put on a happy face with teary-eyed thanks, but when the loss sinks in, many get caught in self-blame, self-pity, and despair
• Anger and resentment: sometimes the candidate refuses to accept the loss and lashes out at opponents or other issues related to those who might be responsible for the defeat. Anger blocks depression and revenge keeps people energized and focused not giving up
• Euphoria: the relief of being happy that the election is over and candidates tend to talk about what they will embark upon as a result of their defeat
• Denial: refusing to believe the election

What are some of the tips for recovering as a nation?

• Look at the election as a competition. Whether a loss or a win, is not about you as a person, but a philosophy to run the country for the next few years.
• Your self-worth is not determined by a win or loss
• Be proud of your dedication and determination. Be proud of voting and making your vote count.
• The important resolution is that we come together as a nation and psychologically work together to bring unity and dedication to improving our country and world

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