"The probability that germany will win the FIFA World Cup 2022 is 46%": Team identification with the german national soccer team


The team identification likely depends on the success (Meier, Strauss, & Riedl, 2017) and can be associated with variables like pride and unrealistic expectancies about the success (Meier, Strauss et. al., in press) as well as salience and mental availability of the concerned team (Diehl et al. , 2002). This study was done during the FIFA world cup 2018 in Germany. Recruitment took place on four measurement points, three before the day the German team played and one after Germany dropped out of the tournament. N = 699 participants (Mage=39.30, SD=17.76; 52.2% female) were either approached in a Germany, Brasil, France or a neutral grey t-Shirt to manipulate the salience of the German team. The participants provided data (among others) on team identification (Strauß, 1995), pride on the team, national pride and perceived probability of Germany winning the world cup in 2018 (before the 3 games) and in 2022 (after dropout). The analyses showed that neither team identification nor perceived probability of winning the final differed among the experimental groups. However, pride (and the identification) on the team differed between measurement points (F(3,670)=9.92, p<.001), being highest after a win. The perceived probability winning 2018 started before the first game with (unrealistic) 55%, decreased significantly during the first round and ended with a value of 46.7% to win the 2022 world cup (F(3,663)=15.82, p<.001),. Data show that instead of salience of the concerned team the amount of identification on a sports team is more likely to depend on the team success.

Acknowledgments: We thank the students of the class "Experimental Sport Psychology" for their great work in gathering the data.