How do passionate sports fans respond when good things happen? A look at savouring and dampening


Passionate sports fans often experience positive events such as team victories and accomplishments. But how do fans respond when these events happen? In two studies, we tested if harmonious and obsessive varieties of passion predicted the extent to which passionate fans engage in savouring by attempting to maintain, enhance, or prolong their positive emotions following positive events, and engage in dampening by attempting to decrease their positive feelings. In Study 1, undergraduate sports fans (n = 321) reported levels of harmonious and obsessive passion for their favourite team, the extent to which they generally savour positive events while supporting their team, and how they responded to a recent team victory by savouring and dampening. In Study 2, soccer fans (n = 394) recruited from a crowdsourcing website (Prolific Academic) participated in an experimental study that tested if the relationships between passion types, savouring, and dampening depended on whether a positive event was the result of an in-progress (semi-final victory) or completed (final victory) achievement. In both studies, harmonious passion predicted greater savouring, whereas obsessive passion predicted less savouring and greater dampening. Goal status moderated the relationships between both passion types and dampening: high levels of either harmonious or obsessive passion predicted less dampening in the completed compared to the in-progress condition. These results reveal that passion types matter for predicting who tries to make themselves feel better, or worse, following positive events, and have implications for our understanding of the pathways that link passion types with outcomes in sports fans.

Acknowledgments: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada