Brain on Sports Podcast: Why we root for the underdog
“This is Your Brain on Sports” is a podcast from Sports Illustrated in which SI executive editor Jon Wertheim and Tufts University psychology professor Sam Sommers explore the intersection of sports and human nature—what the world of sports has to teach us about who we are, what we care about and the forces that shape our behavior.
March Madness has descended upon the sports world once again, and from casual fans to diehard bracket-trackers, everyone is on high alert for the next team from a little-known school to take the NCAA tournament by storm. But why are we so predisposed to pulling for the little guy? On this week’s episode, USF professor Joe Vandello joins the show to discuss his research on underdogs and their impact not only on how Americans view the tournament but on how they approach presidential elections and other major world events.