Which national teams - of our varied heritages - are those we roots for at major events, such as the Olympics? And, of course, why do we cheer so loudly for our national teams during the Olympics?
Experts at the University of Texas, Dallas offer several explanations of how we define ourselves via membership in a larger group, sometimes called “collective identity.”
UTD Researcher Dr. Karen Huxtable-Jester says this tendency is stronger in men than women, but everyone seems to enjoy cheering for their national team. She teaches psychology in The University of Texas at Dallas’ School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
Another impetus for this is that people like to associate with successful people. Researchers call this BIRG (basking in reflected glory).
The opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics - the Games of the XXX Olympiad - begin tonight in London.
The largest international sporting event in the world takes place every four years; it is the third time that it has been held in London. The last time was in 1948.
The first modern edition of the games was organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in Athens in 1896. The original Olympics - with nude athletes - took place in ancient Olympia, Greece, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD.
The Olympics is an historical event enjoyed for generations. Participating - as a competitor or spectator - connects you to your ancestors who also lived through the moment.
We've trawled the Internet to find weird and wonderful historic Olympic facts. Here are some of them: