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Does sport make you happy or sad?

Dr George Mackerron – the co-creator of the Mappiness app and a behavioural economist at the University of Sussex’s business school – has studied how happy (or sad) sport makes us.

They found that the pain felt by football fans in England after a defeat is more than double the joy of winning.

The jubilation of a win felt by those attending a match is around three-to-four times higher than for those watching at home, boosting happiness by around 10 points. To put that into context, only lovemaking or intimacy had a bigger effect on happiness across all the millions of responses to the Mappiness app.

The flipside is that the sting of defeat becomes even more extreme, with a dramatic drop of 14 happiness points if you are in the stadium to see your team lose.

Dr Mackerron spoke about the research with Mornings’ David Morrow and Matt Thompson on Macquarie Sports Radio.

To listen to the interview, click PLAY below.

To read more about the research, click here.