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This study uses a Decision/Expectancy model to examine factors contributing to sports preference for college men and women at three levels of participation. Subjects rated the utility of outcomes for nine sports (a sampling of team and nonteam, competitive and recreational activities) and their expectations that each outcome would occur given that they participated in each sport. Subjects were divided into six groups according to current and recent participation in sports activities. A relationship was found between current level of participation and age of earliest participation. Subjective Expected Utilities (SEUs) for groups suggest that differences between groups having different levels of participation were not in their assessments of the utilities of outcomes of participation, because all subjects found positive outcomes equally favorable and negative outcomes equally unfavorable. The groups did differ, however, in their assessment of the probabilities that positive or negative outcomes would occur as a result of their participation. Men and women were very similar in their evaluations. There was a high correlation for groups between SEU and stated preference for the nine sports.
The authors wish to thank Dr. David Olson, Mr. Layne Prest, and Ms. Shelda Walker. Reprint requests should be sent to Decky Fiedler, Department of Psychology, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA 98447.