New York Magazine:
Over the long weekend, NBC aired what is essentially the Super Bowl of American running: the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. Distance running is typically thought of as an individual sport, but the race also happened to inadvertently demonstrate a concept that’s recently been explored in the scientific literature — the incredible psychological power of feeling like part of a team.
Cragg finished first, and Flanagan held on to third, securing her own ticket to Rio in August. Some have speculated that if it weren’t for Cragg’s encouragement, Flanagan may have fallen behind or dropped out entirely. It was a memorable example of the motivational power that comes from having a teammate, something organizational psychologists have recently begun to explore, with some surprising results. Recently, for example, five experiments conducted by Stanford University psychologists showed that there is a weird power in simply feeling as if you are part of a team, even if you are in fact working on your own.
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