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World Series Psychology

This is a photo of a baseball in a baseball mit.The Red Sox won’t be participating in this year’s World Series, but it’s safe to say that the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry is here to stay. That makes those teams’ fans an obvious choice for studying rivalry and aggression. Read Wray Herbert’s summary of what happened when Princeton University social neuroscientists studied which neurons light up when loyalists and rivals experience moments of victory or defeat.

In other baseball-related psychology, fans aren’t the only ones whose aggression at the baseball stadium has become the subject of psychological research. In separate research published in Psychological Science, scientists indicate that pitchers are more likely to hit batters with a pitch not only when temperatures are higher, but also when the pitchers’ teammates have been hit by an opposing pitcher. In an interview with NPR, study author Richard Larrick explains that higher temperatures actually lower pitchers’ inhibitions against retaliation.

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