Spectator Moods at an Aggressive Sports Event

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology

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Gordon W. RussellUniversity of Lethbridge Alberta, Canada

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Mood scales were administered to spectators attending an especially violent ice hockey game (n = 117) and a relatively nonviolent game (n = 159). Subjects completed the scales either prior to the opening face-off, during the first or second period intermissions, or immediately following the match. The between-subjects design revealed an increase in spectator hostility accompanied by a quadratic arousal function for the violent game. The relationship between hostility (and arousal) and the period of play was best described by an inverted-U function. Arousal decreased at the nonviolent match. Other mood states were largely unaffected by the two games. The results were discussed with reference to three models of spectator moods in which outcome is featured as a major variable.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Gordon W. Russell, Department of Psychology, University of Lethbridge, 4401 University Drive, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada T1K 3M4.

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