Loss aversion.. How does it make us change our views and behaviors?

Some play for fun and lose with a smile on their face, while others strive to achieve victory at any cost… But what is going on in their heads?

In a report published by the newspaper “Le Figaro” (lefigaro) French, writer Aurour Emily says that some people try to hide their annoyance when losing, while others may ridicule the winners or the rules of the game, and may attribute their failure either to circumstances or misfortune, or remain silent.

Taste of defeat

According to clinical psychologist Allen Nateville, “Everyone has the same goal, which is to maintain a positive image of themselves when they taste defeat. Therefore, a bad player does not admit defeat but rather reacts.”

Whatever the age of the person, whether 7 years or even 77 years, the loser’s mind revolves the same drama. A team from the University of Rotterdam observed that the brain activity of a person who loses versus a winner is similar to that of someone in physical pain. The feeling of loss is a bit like hitting your head against a wall, so the brain immediately alerts the body that this situation must be avoided at all costs.

Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, the founders of behavioral economics, studied the concept of “loss aversion”, a common feeling among all human beings that is believed to be a factor in survival. Loss causes us to change our perspectives and behaviors and causes us to do more to avoid losses than we do to maximize gains.

We don’t treat the concept of losing in play the same way (Getty Images)

profit and loss

This is understandable from an economic point of view, but it is not justified when winning and losing is entertainment. We don’t approach the concept of loss the same way, according to Allen Nateville, for some. Games are an opportunity to relax, entertain, and connect with others, a fun moment rather than a challenge or competition.

On the other hand, others consider any game as a bet, an opportunity to prove their abilities, knowledge, and fortunes, and a means to assert their position. Metaphorically speaking, play becomes a matter of life and death.

The writer stated that the disappointment one feels when losing depends on what one is betting on. Disappointment is less severe when playing with a team because the responsibility for failure is shared. It is easier to accept loss when you are with the family than it is in the office, and in front of someone you love rather than your archenemy.

She noted that bad players are often victims of their own moods. “It’s normal to have a competitive spirit, but we may have trouble directing our feelings and suppressing impulses, and we may suffer from so-called fragile narcissism, in which recognition and a sense of value depends on the perception of the other,” explains Nateville.

The writer pointed out that maintaining a smile when losing is a matter of learning. Nateville asserts that, “People who have not experienced many failures in their lives, especially in childhood, or who have not received help during failed experiences that were difficult but contributed to the formation of their personality, continue to live their lives in adulthood as if these experiences represented a danger for them”.

Helplessness and frustration

Players’ bad reaction to defeat is related to their childhood playing experiences. For example, when playing a game of checkers or poker, a person may evoke the frustration of a long time ago.

According to the psychologist, “This type of person may not get what they want, but they can satisfy their desires by activating the reward system. When faced with loss, they are faced with the unbearable reality again. Then, they develop a painful feeling of loss of control and helplessness that the child feels Sometimes in the adult world.

Disappointment is less severe when playing with a team because responsibility for failure is shared (Getty Images)

What do you do when you lose?

What do you do when you lose? According to the expert, “It is important to welcome the child’s feelings and help him move through what he considers adversity. But if the person is an adult and shows signs of distress at the loss, the remarks we should make to him should not be in the form of admonition.”

In a survey of nearly 2,000 Americans published by The Sun, “about 20% admitted to having excluded a friend or family member because of their competitive or hostile behavior.”

On the list of games that often cause problems in the core of the group, Monopoly takes the lead, followed by UNO and Sorry, which is played with pawns and cards instead of dice. .

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