Washington, Oct 21 : People who engage in pompous displays of collective pride in a football game or political rally might be trying to hide their insecurity and a low social status, says a new study.
Psychologists from University of California, Davis have revealed that group pride might actually be a sign of group insecurity than strength.
The research team led by Cynthia Pickett, associate professor of psychology at UC Davis found that groups that boast, gloat and denigrate outsiders tend to be of low social status or vulnerable to threats from other groups.
In contrast, those that express pride by humbly focusing on members' efforts and hard work tend to have high social standing.
Robins and Tracy, a former UC Davis doctoral student, were the first social scientists to observe that in individuals, the emotion of pride has a distinct nonverbal expression that is unlike body language used to express other positive emotions such as happiness and excitement.
Those findings, first reported in a 2004 article in Psychological Science, were cited during the Beijing Olympics earlier this year by observers commenting on the body language of Michael Phelps and other triumphant athletes.
The research will be presented Thursday at the annual meeting of the Society for Experimental Social Psychology in Sacramento.