“This is Your Brain on Sports," is a new podcast from Sports Illustrated in which SI executive editor Jon Wertheim and Tufts University psychology professor Sam Sommers look at the hidden side of games, athletes, fans, owners and officials. This week's episode examines the psychology of rooting for a losing team, exploring the possibility that the more you suffer as a fan, the bigger the fan you actually become.
Sommers sits down with Harvard Business School professor Mike Norton, an expert on the psychology of investment and author of Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending. Norton explains how rooting for a losing team is a lot like putting together IKEA furniture: the harder you work at something, the more you come to value it later. They discuss the implications of this IKEA Effect for watching sports, but also for consumer purchases, athletic performance, animal behavior and even dating.
Listen below or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, and check back every week for a new episode.