The ‘photo-finish effect’: when third place winners are happier than second

Laura Kudrna, a London School of Economics scholarship PhD candidate, researches the effects of achievement on happiness, particularly focusing on examples of when greater success – be it financial, academic, romantic, or athletic – do not translate into greater wellbeing for individuals or societies.

The study, carried out at the ESRC-funded Centre for Economic Performance, recently attracted national headlines. Here Laura gives us a more detailed overview.


Many of us have goals to be ‘better’ in some way. But does being better mean that we will be happier?

One of the most prominent examples of when greater success does not necessarily bring greater happiness is in the Olympics. Continue reading