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Unformatted text preview: Fan psychology Drivers for sports fans The drivers that make people fans, and in particular sports fans, have been studied by psychologists, such as Dan Wann at Murray State University . They attribute people becoming fans to the following factors:  entertainment Sports spectatorship is a form of leisure. escapism Being a fan gives one an excuse to yell at something, an activity that may be constrained in other areas of one's life. a combination of euphoria and stress for which they coin the name "eustress" Fans experience euphoria during moments when play is going well for their team, and stress when play is going against their team. This generates pleasure. aesthetics Some people are fans simply because they appreciate the aesthetics of the game, such as the precision or skill of play. family bonding Fans going on a family outing to watch a sports event form a psychological bond with one another as a family. self-esteem Fans identify with their teams to the extent that they consider themselves successful when their teams have been successful. Loyalty Fan loyalty is the loyalty felt and expressed by a fan towards the object of his/her fanaticism. Allegiances can be strong or weak. The loyalties of sports fans have been studied by psychologists, who have determined several factors that create such loyalties (in addition to the factors that make people fans in the first place). Fan loyalty can be threatened by team actions. 1 Title: An exploratory investigation of the characteristics of consumer fanaticism Author(s): Scott Thorne, Gordon C. Bruner Journal: Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal ISSN: 1352-2752 Year: 2006 Volume: 9 Issue: 1 Page: 51 - 72 DOI: 10.1108/13522750610640558 Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited Abstract: Purpose The purpose is to examine the behaviors of consumers engaged in fan activity and determine if there are attitudinal and behavioral characteristics common across the differing fan subcultures. Design/methodology/approach The characteristics affecting fan behavior are examined through the literature and a series of structured interviews with fans which are then evaluated for the presence or lack of the sought for characteristics of fanaticism. Findings The research indicates that there are certain common characteristics to be found in fans interested in different topics and that these characteristics influence the behaviors of those involved in fan behavior. Research limitations/implications Given the prevalence of fan influences in popular and consumptive culture, opportunity exists for research beyond the exploratory work done here including larger interview populations from a greater number of fan subcultures. Practical implications Marketing professionals may use the identified characteristics as a guide in...
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