Eight situations dealing with team sports were described to 63 male and 63 female undergraduates. Each situation depicted a team competition involving same-sex members, and subjects were told specifically about the affiliation, acquaintance, and skill of one of the participants. Subjects indicated how enjoyable they viewed each of the eight sports situations, how many years they had participated in team sports, and how much experience they had in team sport competition. The results suggested that men and women similarly enjoyed aspects of team sport participation that improved their chances of winning and interacting cooperatively with friends, but men seemed to enjoy the ego-challenging aspects of team sports more than women.
We thank Richard E. Petty, Barbara L. Andersen, and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper. Requests for reprints should be sent to John T. Cacioppo, Department of Psychology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242.