If you voted today, you probably felt a post-poll high: You did your civic duty, stood up for something you believe in, and made your voice heard. But a new study finds the good vibes of Election Day are fleeting, particularly if your party loses.
Researchers at the Washington University in St. Louis looked at people’s happiness and sadness around the 2012 presidential election and found that losers sulk much more than winners celebrate. “The pain of losing the 2012 presidential election dominated the joy of winning it,” according to the study. In fact, losing the election had a greater affect on partisans’ sadness than did the Boston marathon bombings and Newtown shootings. Shocking, right? “People’s social, physical, economic, and mental lives are shaped by their partisan identities—and these social identities are widely and deeply held,” write the researchers. Translation: When your party loses, it’s personal.
So, what if the outcome of Election Day leaves you feeling less than thrilled? Good news: Researchers found that people feel better within a week.