(NEW HAVEN, Conn.) -- Robert Redford played the lead in the movie, The Natural. It was about an old-time, fictional baseball star whose goal was to be the best player there ever was.
Although today’s players might not have such lofty ambitions, Yale University psychologists say that fans are definitely attracted to “naturals” rather than players without the same amount of innate talent or those who boost their numbers with PEDs.
Researcher Kristi Lockhart says a good example of that theory is the 1961 home run race between New York Yankees teammates Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris.
While Maris wound up breaking Babe Ruth’s single-season record, it was Mantle who fans favored more because he was a naturally gifted ballplayer, compared to Maris, who was very good but never came close again to achieving such a monumental feat.
Lockhart says the same premise can be applied to personality traits. We are drawn to naturally optimistic people as opposed to those who might have to medicate to make themselves happy.
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