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Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Winners are generally more aggressive than the losers, according to at least one psychologist, so he was not surprised when celebrations turned violent in San Francisco after the Giants won the World Series Wednesday.

“This is not uncommon after many major sporting events,” said Brad Bushman, a professor of communication and psychology at the Ohio State University School of Communication.

People who feel they have “won” sometimes like to boast or celebrate that victory, he said, though the victory can end with their trying to diminish the loser in order to feel better.

“Social identity theory shows that people like to take pride in the groups they belong to,” Bushman said. “But often people think to make themselves feel better they have to stomp down those who belong to other groups.”

After the Giants won the World Series for the third time in five years, some of their fans took to the streets immediately after the game near the baseball stadium where the team plays to celebrate with cheers and in some cases property damage.

Police in riot gear took to the streets and used tear gas to get fans to disperse.

Forty people were arrested Wednesday night, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, which reported Thursday afternoon that police said three people were booked for alleged assault and two for illegal gun possession.

Police said many of those arrested were from outside San Francisco.

One local merchant, Kim Jung, 57, complained to the newspaper about the graffiti scrawled outside his diner. “I’m lucky there wasn’t any broken windows,” he said.

Speaking of the vandalism, he asked, “Why is it like that?”

Experts cite crowds as a contributing factor, saying anonymity allows people to feel like they can do something illegal or dangerous and not be caught.

"It’s a group contagion effect," said Stanley Teitelbaum, a psychologist and psychotherapist in New York. "When they’re part of a group, then they’re more prone and more likely to join in and let that aggressive side of themselves."

Teitelbaum said an intense game, like the final game at the World Series, can result in people searching for a release through destructive behavior.

"Internally, people are psychologically and emotionally building up a lot of intensity and tension," he said. "It becomes an opportunity or an excuse to let all this out."

Teitelbaum said people may start out thinking they're doing something minor, but that it can quickly spiral out of control.

"You start to rock a car and you don’t necessarily mean to get it turned over," Teitelbaum said. “You’re expressing an aggressive feeling."

While a World Series win can lead to heightened emotions, they're not always positive, according to experts.

Fredrick Koenig, former professor of social psychology at Tulane University in New Orleans, said for some people extreme happiness can turn into extreme aggression.

“This is an aspect of crowd behavior and it’s called ‘excitation transfer’; one part of your brain gets excited and it transfers over to aggression,” Koenig told ABC News.

Koenig said if the excitement transmits to aggression, being in a crowd with a lot of other like-minded people is not a good place to be.

"In crowds, the rules aren’t there anymore; [people] start doing things that are not normative," he said.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Jag_cz/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The overseas recall of a batch of U.S. whiskey imported to three Scandinavian countries has focused new attention on an ingredient that has long been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in foods and beverage.

The issue arose after Finland, Sweden, and Norway asked the makers of Fireball whiskey to recall a batch of the liquor that contained a higher amount of the FDA-approved ingredient propylene glycol than is allowed under European regulations, according to a statement from Metairie, Louisiana-based Sazerac, the makers of Fireball.

While the ingredient is also used in nonedible products including antifreeze, it is considered, “generally recognized as safe” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to be used in food and beverages.

Motoko Mukai, a principal research scientist at the Department of Food Science at Cornell University, explained that there are different kinds of antifreeze and that the antifreeze that contains propylene glycol is less toxic and more environmentally safe than antifreeze that contains ethylene glycol, which is toxic to humans.

“I saw a lot of media that it’s found in antifreeze; [propylene glycol] is found in environmentally friendly antifreeze,” she said.

Mukai said there are limits on the amount of propylene glycol that can be used in foods and liquors, but that it would be extremely difficult to ingest too much of the chemical through food or drink.

For example, Mukai points out in liquor the chemical can make up to just 50 grams for each kilogram of liquid, or 5 percent. So, she said before a person would get sick from consuming a dangerous amount of the chemical, they would likely get sick from alcohol poisoning.

Propylene glycol toxicity has only been reported in rare and unusual circumstances including intravenous medications containing propylene glycol and with topically applied medications using the chemical, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In addition to alcohol, the product is often used in small amounts ice cream, candy and seasonings, Mukai said.

Sazerac, which makes Fireball whiskey, has defended its product, saying it is, “absolutely safe to drink and the use of [propylene glycol] in Fireball creates no health risk whatsoever.”

The chemical is used as a flavoring ingredient in its whiskey and is used in very small quantities, less than one-eighth of the amount allowed in the United States, the Sazerac group said.

According to a post on their website, the North American-standard batch of whiskey in question was mistakenly sent to Finland, Sweden and Norway. The company was aware the liquor did not comply with European rules requiring less propylene glycol, a flavoring ingredient.

Mukai said European regulations do not allow the same level of propylene glycol, which is why the liquor was recalled from three countries. The countries that asked for a recall permit a much lower amount of propylene glycol in their liquor products. She said it is common for companies to have different formulas for products, depending on local regulations.

The European Union and the United States have different regulations for many chemicals used in common items, including Bisphenol A, which is common in plastics and phthalates, which are common in cosmetics.

Finland, Sweden and Norway have asked Sazerac to recall the alcohol and send another batch specifically formulated to adhere to European regulations, according to the company website.

An FDA representative confirmed that the ingredient is approved for use in certain foods and beverages. The chemical can be used for a variety of uses in foods, including as a thickener and stabilizer and a flavor agent, according to the FDA website.


VILevi/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- New York City is monitoring 117 people for possible Ebola, most of them people who arrived on commercial flights from West Africa over the past 19 days.

Those being monitored include people who cared for a New York doctor who tested positive for Ebola after treating patients in West Africa.

The doctor, Craig Allen Spencer, was placed in an isolation unit last week at Bellevue Hospital after reporting Ebola-like symptoms.

"The list also includes Bellevue Hospital staff taking care of Dr. Spencer, FDNY EMS staff who transported Dr. Spencer to Bellevue, the lab workers who conducted Dr. Spencer’s blood test, and the three people who had direct contact with Dr. Spencer prior to his arrival at Bellevue and who are currently under city quarantine,” said Marti Adams, a spokesman for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

Most of those monitored, however, were identified through stepped up screening protocols at John F. Kennedy International Airport, which began on Oct. 11.

"The vast majority of these individuals [being monitored] are travelers arriving in New York City since Oct. 11 from the three Ebola-affected countries who are being monitored post-arrival," Adams said.

Spencer, 33, was treating Ebola patients in Guinea for Doctors Without Borders, according to the officials. Guinea is one of the West African countries currently battling an Ebola outbreak.

Spencer is the fourth patient to be diagnosed with Ebola in the United States. Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian national, tested positive for the virus at the end of September in Dallas, where he infected two nurses who cared for him: Nina Pham and Amber Vinson.

Duncan died on Oct. 8. Vinson and Pham have both been discharged and are Ebola-free.

Spencer is the only remaining American Ebola patient still battling the virus in the United States. Bellevue Hospital released a statement on Thursday saying that he remains in serious but stable condition.

The hospital also noted that a 5-year-old child who tested negative for Ebola on Monday was discharged on Thursday.

Spencer's diagnosis prompted several states to toughen their quarantine rules, leading to the controversy surrounding Ebola nurse Nancy Hickox, who is refusing to abide by voluntary quarantine rules in Maine.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Creatas/Thinkstock(FORT KENT, Maine) -- An Ebola nurse fighting quarantine orders in Maine got a special delivery Thursday afternoon: a pizza from Moose Shack on Main Street.

Nurse Kaci Hickox, told reporters Wednesday night that the one thing she missed while she was cooped up in her Fort Kent home was Moose Shack pizza. So on Thursday morning, the pizzeria contacted the police department to see whether they could deliver a pizza to her.

Hickox, 33, returned from treating Ebola patients in West Africa last week and on Thursday morning broke Maine's voluntary quarantine by going on a bike ride as officials waffled between whether to seek legal enforcement to the quarantine or let her off the hook with a blood test.

April Hafford, whose father owns the pizzeria, delivered the pizza to Hickox's home Thursday afternoon. Earlier in the day, she told ABC News that the pizzeria's biggest concern was how their customers will feel about the special delivery.

"It's such a small place here, and it could go either way," Hafford said. "There’s a lot of people that maybe wouldn't come here because of it -- and who would come because of it. It could go either way."

Hafford, who said she's seen Hickox and her boyfriend in the pizza shop three times since it opened in January, said Moose Shack has already received a lot of calls about Hickox Thursday morning, and that the quarantine is a controversial issue in the small town.

And for those wondering, it was a pepperoni, black olive and mushroom pizza.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As New York City hosts the nation's sole Ebola patient, city and state officials have announced a program to encourage health care professionals to travel to West Africa to treat Ebola patients.

The initiative would be modeled on benefits and rights provided to military reservists.

New York state and the city will work to ensure that health care workers who travel to West Africa would have their pay, health care and employment statuses continue seamlessly when they get back.

“The depth of the challenge we face in containing Ebola requires us to meet this test in a comprehensive manner on multiple fronts, and part of that is encouraging and incentivizing medical personnel to go to West Africa," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement Friday.

State officials would also provide necessary reimbursements to health care workers and their employers for any quarantine that are needed upon their return to New York.

New York state is coordinating the program with New Jersey and the Greater New York Hospital Association.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio





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