Why do so many of us root for underdogs? Because they resonate with our sense of “fairness and justice” and we frequently believe they “put forth more effort than top-dogs.” At least, that’s what researchers at the University of South Florida have concluded after a series of studies on the subject.
From the summary of their findings at PsychCentral:
” … in one study using the Israeli and Palestinian conflict, the participants were given the same essay about the history of the area, but with different maps to reference — one showing Palestine as smaller than Israel (and thus, the underdog) and the other showing Israel as smaller.
No matter what scenario the participants were presented with, they consistently favored the underdog to win.”