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“Fuelled by Passion”: Obsessive Passion Amplifies Positive and Negative Feelings Throughout a Hockey Playoff Series

Benjamin J.I. Schellenberg and Jérémie Verner-Filion

Previous research has shown that the highs and lows of sport fandom are more extreme for fans with strong levels of obsessive passion. The authors tested if this amplification effect applied to how hockey fans felt throughout a National Hockey League (NHL) playoff series. Fans of the Winnipeg Jets (N = 57) reported levels of harmonious and obsessive passion prior to the start of the 2019 NHL playoffs and then reported their feelings the day after each game of the first playoff round. The results supported the amplification hypothesis by showing that the impact of game result on both positive and negative feelings the day after a game was more extreme for fans with high obsessive passion. This moderating effect, however, appeared to be driven primarily by responses to losses.

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The Two Dimensions of Passion for Sport: A New Look Using a Quadripartite Approach

Benjamin J.I. Schellenberg, Jérémie Verner-Filion, Patrick Gaudreau, and Sophia Mbabaali

Research relying on the dualistic model of passion has consistently found that harmonious passion for sport is positively associated with adaptive outcomes and that obsessive passion for sport is positively associated with maladaptive outcomes. In this research, we tested if various sport outcomes were related to within-person combinations of both harmonious and obsessive passion. Three samples of athletes (total N = 1,290) completed online surveys that assessed various sport outcomes (e.g., sport enjoyment, goal attainment), along with harmonious and obsessive passion for their sport. We found that athletes were best served by having either high harmonious passion or low obsessive passion or, in many cases, high harmonious passion that was combined with low obsessive passion. These results add to our understanding of passion by showing that combinations of harmonious and obsessive passion for sport are differentially associated with indicators of a positive sport experience.

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We Are the Champions, But How Do We Respond? Savoring and Dampening in Response to Championship Victories Among Passionate Sports Fans

Benjamin J.I. Schellenberg, Jérémie Verner-Filion, and Patrick Gaudreau

The aim of this research was to test if the ways passionate sport fans respond immediately after an important team victory depend on the extent to which passion is harmonious or obsessive. Fans of Liverpool F.C. (n = 299) and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (n = 334) completed online surveys shortly after their teams had won an important championship game. Fans answered questions assessing passion and the extent to which they engaged in savoring (i.e., attempting to maintain, augment, or prolong positive emotions) and dampening (i.e., attempting to stifle positive emotions) after the victory. In both samples, the authors found that both harmonious and obsessive passion predicted greater savoring, but only obsessive passion predicted greater dampening. These findings build on previous research and suggest an additional reason for which harmonious and obsessive passion among sport fans tend to predict more and less adaptive outcomes, respectively.