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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Benjamin J.I. Schellenberg and Jérémie Verner-Filion
Patrick Gaudreau and Benjamin J.I. Schellenberg
The winners of the 2017 World Series were found guilty of illegally using electronic devices to steal the signs of their opponents. Many but not all sport fans negatively reacted to this cheating incident. We relied on the model of excellencism and perfectionism to determine if perfection strivers are less unfavorable toward electronic sign stealing (cheating) compared with excellence strivers. Sport fans (N = 321) completed a measure of excellencism and perfectionism. We used three different approaches to measure attitudes toward electronic sign stealing in baseball. Results of a multivariate multiple regression showed that sport fans who are perfection strivers held more favorable attitudes toward electronic sign stealing compared with excellence strivers. Perfection strivers also reported higher moral disengagement and winning-at-all-cost mentality. These findings are insightful because they indicate that perfectionistic standards significantly relate to sport cheating-related attitudes once we separate excellencism from perfectionism.
Benjamin J.I. Schellenberg and Patrick Gaudreau
The team identification–social psychological health model outlines that fans of local sport teams are more likely to experience feelings of social connectedness compared with fans of distant teams. We tested this proposition across two sufficiently powered studies. In both studies, sport fans (Study 1: N = 291, Study 2: N = 430) completed online surveys assessing their levels of identification with a favorite sport team and social connections derived from their fandom for that team. Team localness was operationalized based on team location (Study 1) or responses to survey questions assessing team localness (Study 2). In both studies, the positive association between team identification and social connectedness was not moderated by team localness. This research contributes to the team identification–social psychological health model and our general understanding of fan behavior by showing that the social benefits of being a highly identified sport fan are not limited to fans of local teams.
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.
Benjamin J.I. Schellenberg, Jérémie Verner-Filion, and Patrick Gaudreau
Athletes can respond to positive experiences in sport by engaging in savoring—that is, by attempting to prolong or amplify their positive feelings. In this research, the authors tested if savoring was predicted by levels of harmonious or obsessive passion for sport and if savoring was associated with symptoms of burnout. In Study 1 (n = 499), the authors found that savoring was positively associated with harmonious passion and negatively associated with obsessive passion. In addition, savoring predicted lower levels of burnout and played an indirect role in the relationship between both passion types and burnout. The authors replicated these findings in Study 2 (n = 298), with collegiate-level athletes, prospectively, over the course of a season. Overall, athletes with strong levels of harmonious passion appear to be most likely to engage in savoring, a response that may protect them from experiencing higher levels of burnout.
Benjamin J.I. Schellenberg, Patrick Gaudreau, and Peter R.E. Crocker
This study examined the relationship between harmonious and obsessive passion and coping, and assessed whether coping mediated the relationship between passion types and changes in burnout and goal attainment. College- and university-level volleyball players (N = 421) completed measures of passion, coping, burnout, and goal attainment at the start and end of a season. Results of structural equation modeling, using a true latent change approach, supported a model whereby types of passion were indirectly related to changes in burnout and goal attainment via coping. Harmonious passion was positively related to task-oriented coping which, in turn, was positively associated with change in goal attainment. Obsessive passion was positively associated with disengagement-oriented coping which, in turn, was positively and negatively associated with changes in burnout and goal attainment, respectively. This study identifies coping as a reason why passionate athletes may experience changes in burnout and goal attainment over the course of a season.
Jérémie Verner-Filion, Benjamin J. I. Schellenberg, Maylys Rapaport, Jocelyn J. Bélanger, and Robert J. Vallerand
The dualistic model of passion proposes two distinct forms of passion: obsessive (OP) and harmonious (HP). The purpose of this research was to test if emotional reactivity following athletic successes and failures was related to one’s levels of HP and OP for sport. The authors recruited recreational golfers (N = 115) to report how they typically felt after they experienced successes and failures on the golf course. Results of multilevel modeling analyses supported the hypotheses and revealed that OP moderated the effects of success and failure on both positive and negative affect: OP was associated with higher levels of positive affect following success, as well as higher levels of negative affect following failure. These results suggest that OP, but not HP, is associated with greater emotional reactivity to the experience of success and failure in sport.
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.
Sasha M. Kullman, Brittany N. Semenchuk, Benjamin J.I. Schellenberg, Laura Ceccarelli, and Shaelyn M. Strachan
Adjusting identity standards may be preferable to relentless pursuit or abandonment of an identity when facing an identity-challenging life transition. Self-compassion (SC) can help people adjust to challenges. The authors examined whether SC was associated with identity adjustment, exercise, and the moderating effect of identity–behavior discrepancy in 279 women exercisers who reported reduced exercise in motherhood. Participants completed the Self-Compassion Scale and reported the extent of and reflected on their identity discrepant behavior (reduced exercise). Reactions to discrepancy (acceptance, shame, guilt, and rumination), correlates of identity adjustment (subjective well-being, autonomous motivation, controlled motivation, and role conflict), and exercise behavior were assessed. SC associated positively with acceptance, correlates of successful identity adjustment, and exercise behavior. SC associated negatively with shame, rumination, and correlates of unsuccessful adjustment. SC may help exercise-identifying women who exercise less after becoming mothers adaptively cope with this identity challenge and continue exercising.