Athletic Insight - The Online Journal of Sport Psychology

Examining the Superstitions of Sport Fans:
Types of Superstitions, Perceptions of Impact, and
Relationship with Team Identification

Daniel L. Wann
Murray State University
Frederick G. Grieve
Western Kentucky University
Ryan K. Zapalac
Sam Houston State University
Christian End
Xavier University
Jason R. Lanter
Kutztown State University
Dale G. Pease
University of Houston
Brandy Fellows, Kelly Oliver & Allison Wallace
Murray State University

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ABSTRACT

The current work examined the superstitious behaviors of sport fans. A sample of 1661 college students completed a questionnaire packet assessing demographics, team identification, sport fandom, superstitions, perceptions of superstition impact and importance, and why they engaged in the superstitions. A total of 675 persons reported at least one superstition. Higher levels of sport fandom and higher levels of team identification correlated with a greater number of superstitions listed. Further, persons with higher levels of team identification reported greater perceptions of the impact and importance of their superstitions. The categorization of the superstitions revealed that apparel superstitions were most prominent. Other prominent superstitions included vocalizations, consumption of food/drink (nonalcoholic), watching or not watching the action, and good luck charms/superstitious rituals.

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Copyright 2013 Athletic Insight, Inc.
ISSN 1536-0431