SPORT FAN AGGRESSION AND ANONYMITY: THE IMPORTANCE OF TEAM IDENTIFICATION

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Abstract:

The current study tested the hypothesis that there would be a positive relationship between sport team identification and willingness to injure anonymously an opposing player or coach. To test this hypothesis, 88 college students were asked to indicate their willingness to murder someone anonymously and their willingness to injure anonymously the star player and coach of a rival team. The data confirmed the hypothesis, even after controlling for level of sport fandom. However, because the data failed to reveal a significant relationship between team identification and desire to murder someone anonymously, it is apparent that the highly identified fans were not simply more aggressive in general. Rather, they were more aggressive only when the target was a player or coach of a rival team. Discussion centers on the instrumental nature of the current form of fan aggression.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1999.27.6.597

Publication date: January 1, 1999

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