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The Evolutionary Significance of Red Sox Nation: Sport Fandom as a Byproduct of Coalitional Psychology:

The Evolutionary Significance of Red Sox Nation: Sport Fandom as a Byproduct of Coalitional... Sport fandom has received considerable attention from social scientists, yet few have considered it from an evolutionary perspective. To redress this gap, we develop the hypothesis that team sports exhibit characteristics that activate mechanisms which evolved to facilitate the development of coalitions in the context of small-scale warfare. Based on this by-product hypothesis, we predicted a correlation between fandom and binding (i.e. group-relevant) concerns, especially loyalty. To test this prediction, we administered the Sport Spectator Identification Scale (SSI) and the Moral Foundations Questionnaire (MFQ) to 495 undergraduates. The MFQ measures three binding concerns, including loyalty, and two individualizing ones, harm and fairness. As predicted, fandom correlated significantly with loyalty (r = .27) and, within men, the two other binding concerns, authority (r =.22) and purity (r = .24). By contrast, fandom did not significantly correlate with harm or fairness. In addition, we predicted and found that men reported significantly higher levels of fandom (Cohen's d =.45) and loyalty (d = .27) than did women. In conclusion, this study presents data supporting the coalitional by-product hypothesis of fandom and should spur further research using fandom as a window into our evolved psychology. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Evolutionary Psychology SAGE

The Evolutionary Significance of Red Sox Nation: Sport Fandom as a Byproduct of Coalitional Psychology:

Evolutionary Psychology , Volume 8 (3): 1 – Jul 1, 2010

The Evolutionary Significance of Red Sox Nation: Sport Fandom as a Byproduct of Coalitional Psychology:

Evolutionary Psychology , Volume 8 (3): 1 – Jul 1, 2010

Abstract

Sport fandom has received considerable attention from social scientists, yet few have considered it from an evolutionary perspective. To redress this gap, we develop the hypothesis that team sports exhibit characteristics that activate mechanisms which evolved to facilitate the development of coalitions in the context of small-scale warfare. Based on this by-product hypothesis, we predicted a correlation between fandom and binding (i.e. group-relevant) concerns, especially loyalty. To test this prediction, we administered the Sport Spectator Identification Scale (SSI) and the Moral Foundations Questionnaire (MFQ) to 495 undergraduates. The MFQ measures three binding concerns, including loyalty, and two individualizing ones, harm and fairness. As predicted, fandom correlated significantly with loyalty (r = .27) and, within men, the two other binding concerns, authority (r =.22) and purity (r = .24). By contrast, fandom did not significantly correlate with harm or fairness. In addition, we predicted and found that men reported significantly higher levels of fandom (Cohen's d =.45) and loyalty (d = .27) than did women. In conclusion, this study presents data supporting the coalitional by-product hypothesis of fandom and should spur further research using fandom as a window into our evolved psychology.

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © 2022 by SAGE Publications Inc., unless otherwise noted. Manuscript content on this site is licensed under Creative Commons Licenses
ISSN
1474-7049
eISSN
1474-7049
DOI
10.1177/147470491000800310
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Sport fandom has received considerable attention from social scientists, yet few have considered it from an evolutionary perspective. To redress this gap, we develop the hypothesis that team sports exhibit characteristics that activate mechanisms which evolved to facilitate the development of coalitions in the context of small-scale warfare. Based on this by-product hypothesis, we predicted a correlation between fandom and binding (i.e. group-relevant) concerns, especially loyalty. To test this prediction, we administered the Sport Spectator Identification Scale (SSI) and the Moral Foundations Questionnaire (MFQ) to 495 undergraduates. The MFQ measures three binding concerns, including loyalty, and two individualizing ones, harm and fairness. As predicted, fandom correlated significantly with loyalty (r = .27) and, within men, the two other binding concerns, authority (r =.22) and purity (r = .24). By contrast, fandom did not significantly correlate with harm or fairness. In addition, we predicted and found that men reported significantly higher levels of fandom (Cohen's d =.45) and loyalty (d = .27) than did women. In conclusion, this study presents data supporting the coalitional by-product hypothesis of fandom and should spur further research using fandom as a window into our evolved psychology.

Journal

Evolutionary PsychologySAGE

Published: Jul 1, 2010

Keywords: sports; coalitions; warfare; morality; sex differences

References