Two students take the entrance exam of NEET
Student A scores 92%
Student B scores 96%
The cutoff of the exam is 98%
Who do you think will feel worse at not making it? Most of us say B while in this case, both should feel equally worse because no one could pass the exam. Student B will feel – if only I had worked just a little bit more, I might have cleared it.
Now, what if the cutoff was not shared with anyone? Perhaps this time, it will be equal.
Our regret increases if we know how close we were to the finish line. Closer the distance by which you missed it, more is the regret.
In the Olympics 2020, have you noticed that at the end of the game a “Bronze medalist” was happier than a “Silver medalist”.
It was not an incidental finding but a proven fact after analyzing the reactions of silver as well as bronze medalists. Ideally, a silver medalist should be happier than a bronze medalist but the human mind does not work like mathematics.
This happens because of “counterfactual thinking”.
Silver medalist thinks “I could not have won the gold medal” whereas bronze medalist thinks “at least I got a medal”. The silver medal is won after losing, but the bronze medal is won after winning.
This happens in our life too, we don’t appreciate what we have but feel sad about what we don’t have. Let’s be grateful for blessings, they far outweigh our problems, if we start counting