Does winning an Emmy or an election mean you will live longer than those you beat?
Research has long linked high socioeconomic status with better health and lower mortality. But what's remained unclear is whether this association has more to do with access to resources (education, wealth, career opportunity, etc.) or the glow of high social status relative to others. Scholars call the latter "relative deprivation."
To tease apart these factors, a team of investigators at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health led by Dr. Bruce Link, studied Baseball Hall of Fame inductees, Emmy Award winners, and former Presidents and Vice Presidents, comparing each to nominated losers in the same competition or election. The result: There were no consistent advantages for winners. The association between winning and longevity is sometimes positive, sometimes negative, and sometimes nonexistent, though the specifics are revealing. Overall, the results suggest that access to resources and opportunity is more important than relative status.
Findings are published online in the American Sociological Review.
Dr. Link and his associates found the following effects of winning vs. losing in the three groups:
- Emmy-winning actors enjoyed 2.7 more years of life than nominees who did not snag the trophy. Though Emmy-winning screenwriters were, mysteriously, at a 3-year disadvantage.
- Baseball Hall-of-Famers enjoyed no advantage in longevity over non-inducted nominees
- Presidents and Vice Presidents lose, on average, 5.3 years from their lives compared to the candidates they bested. While some of this is due to the impact of assassination, the disadvantage persists even when assassination is taken out of the equation.
A more likely explanation, he notes, is that the advantages and disadvantages of winning depend on the mix of opportunities and stresses that they bring. Winning an Emmy often leads to significant career opportunities that might not have been otherwise available. (The paper quotes actor John Larroquette saying "There's no doubt that having an Emmy preceeds you through the door.") On the other hand, Baseball Hall of Fame induction occurs after playing careers are over and therefore has little bearing on career opportunities and earnings.
As for presidential and vice presidential candidates, life circumstances do change for members of this elite club, but winning also brings significant risks: assassination threats and extreme stress from two of the world's most demanding jobs. The 15 men who led our country during the 20th century but died by the year 2008 lived an average of 1.9 years less than the average American male of the same age.
"Our findings provide an important correction to an overemphasis on relative deprivation as an explanation of health inequalities," said Dr. Link. "Relative deprivation likely plays some role in health inequalities, but it is not as important as the life circumstances and opportunities that result from one's socioeconomic position."
Journal reference: American Sociological Review
- Most US presidents live beyond average life expectancy Dec 06, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Popularity over performance dictates success, according to research Jul 23, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Mathematics Professor Says Yankees, Dodgers Should Make World Series Oct 14, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Socioeconomic status affects cancer trial referrals Dec 07, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- NJIT math professor announces picks for Cy Young and Most Valuable Player: Says Rangers will win Oct 19, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
(HealthDay)—Implementation of systematic monitoring for medication adherence will allow for identification of barriers to adherence and tailoring of interventions, according to a viewpoint piece published ...
Health 5 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(AP)—The Obama administration says more doctors and hospitals are embracing technology as adoption of computerized medical records reaches a "tipping point" in America.
Health 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Johns Hopkins researchers report that hospitals may be reaping enormous income for patients whose hospital stays are complicated by preventable bloodstream infections contracted in their intensive care units.
Health 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
A University of Illinois researcher says that the cornerstone of our efforts to alleviate food insecurity should be to encourage more people to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) "because ...
Health 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A new study suggests that disturbed sleep in adolescents is associated with more symptoms of depression and greater uncertainly about future success. However, perceived support and acceptance from parents and teachers appears ...
Health 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Every day, their baby stopped breathing, his collapsed bronchus blocking the crucial flow of air to his lungs. April and Bryan Gionfriddo watched helplessly, just praying that somehow the dire predictions weren't true.
35 minutes ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
A new study shows there is a gender gap when it comes to behavior and self-control in American young children – one that does not appear to exist in children in Asia.
39 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
As the world prepares for what may be the next pandemic strain of influenza virus, in the H7N9 bird flu, a new UC Irvine study reveals that the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic was deadliest for people under the age of 65, while ...
35 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—The American Cancer Society, which is celebrating on Wednesday a century of fighting a disease once viewed as a death sentence, is making a pledge to put itself out of business.
5 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
National Lung Screening Trial (NLST) investigators also conclude that the 20 percent reduction in lung cancer mortality with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) versus chest X-ray (CXR) screening previously reported in the ...
31 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Migraines and depression can each cause a great deal of suffering, but new research indicates the combination of the two may be linked to something else entirely—a smaller brain.
1 hour ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |