Winners love winning and losers love money. Apr 22, 2011 By Timothy WilsonKarim S. KassamCarey K. MorewedgeDaniel T. Gilbert Winners love winning and losers love money. Winners love winning and losers love money. Salience and satisfaction are important factors in determining the comparisons that people make. We hypothesized that people make salient comparisons first, and then make satisfying comparisons only if salient comparisons leave them unsatisfied. This hypothesis suggests an asymmetry between winning and losing. For winners, comparison with a salient alternative (i.e., losing) brings satisfaction. Therefore, winners should be sensitive only to the relative value of their outcomes. For losers, comparison with a salient alternative (i.e., winning) brings little satisfaction. Therefore, losers should be drawn to compare outcomes with additional standards, which should make them sensitive to both relative and absolute values of their outcomes. In Experiment 1, participants won one of two cash prizes on a scratch-off ticket. Winners were sensitive to the relative value of their prizes, whereas losers were sensitive to both the relative and the absolute values of their prizes. In Experiment 2, losers were sensitive to the absolute value of their prize only when they had sufficient cognitive resources to engage in effortful comparison. Psychological Science Timothy Wilson Read full bio Karim S. Kassam Carey K. Morewedge Daniel T. Gilbert Related Content Timothy Wilson Who am I? Beyond "I think, therefore I am." Research Can we ever truly answer the question, “Who am I?” Moderated by Alex Voorhoeve (London School of Economics), neuro-philosopher Elie During (University of Paris, Ouest Nanterre), cognitive scientist David Jopling (York University, Canada), social psychologist Timothy Wilson (University of Virginia), and ethicist Frances Kamm (Harvard University) examine the difficulty of achieving genuine self-knowledge and how the pursuit of self-knowledge plays a role in shaping the self. Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change Research What if there were a magic pill that could make you happier, turn you into a better parent, solve a number of your teenager’s behavior problems, reduce racial prejudice, and close the achievement gap in education? Well, there is no such magic pill-but there is a new scientifically based approach called story editing that can accomplish all of this.