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Development and validation of the Sport Rivalry Fan Perception Scale (SRFPS).

In college sport, fans dedicate large amounts of resources to show their affiliation with th
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  Development and validation of the Sport Rivalry FanPerception Scale (SRFPS). In college sport, fans dedicate large amounts of resources to show their affiliation with their favoriteteams and schools (Gibson, Willming, & Holdnak, 2002). One way to display that affiliation is byfollowing the rival(s) of the favorite team. The relationship between fans, favorite teams, and favoriteteam rivals add to the excitement of consuming sport. For this reason, it is short sighted to addresssport spectatorship without a discussion of the rivalries that occur between teams, players, and fans. At the collegiate level, rivalries fill out season schedules, make for entertaining contests, and addfervor to the competitive nature of sport. Further, many rivalries date over 100 years, and havebecome engrained in the cultures of their respective schools (Corbet & Simpson, 2004; Shropshire,2006; Tucker, 2007).Kilduff, Eifenbein, & Staw (2010) have identified the antecedents to rivalry, however there is littleresearch explaining what sport rivalry means to fans, or how they are affected by the phenomenon. Additionally, no operational definition of sport rivalry currently exists in the sport or consumerbehavior literature, and it is important to study how fans perceive teams identified as rivals tofurther the understanding of intergroup relations. For this reason, the current study sought toaddress the lack of empirical investigation into the phenomenon of sport rivalry by quantitativelyidentifying factors that explain fan perceptions of teams identified as their favorite team's rival. Thefollowing research question guided the study: What identifiable factors explain rivalry?Review of LiteratureThe psychology of fan and consumer behavior is an area that has received considerable attention byacademics over the past two decades. Zaichkowsky (1985) indicated with the Personal InvolvementInventory (PII) that two people could perceive the same product differently. In sport, people tend tobe introduced to the product through family (Coakley, 2004; de Groot & Robinson, 2008; Havard,2012) and consume with friends sharing similar team or activity interests (Dietz-Uhler, Harrick, End,& Jacqemotte, 2000). Fan identification with a team can offer individuals opportunities to fulfillsocialization needs that can lead to increased mental health and self esteem (Brascombe & Warm,1991; Crocker & Park, 2004; Wann, 2006). People tend to identify with others to enhance theirsocial-identity (Tajfel & Turner, 1979) and influence others' perceptions of themselves. One way fora fan to do this is to identify with a sport team (Warm, Brame, Clarkson, Brooks, & Waddill, 2008).For this reason, literature addressing social and fan identification begins the discussion.Social and Fan IdentificationTajfel (1978) asserted that people strive to build and maintain a positive concept of themselves, anddesire to be favorably viewed by others (Tajfel & Turner, 1979). Social identity theory explains howthis self-concept affects the types of people and groups with whom individuals associates (Tajfel,1981). In order to increase self-identity and esteem, people will join with others who share similarcharacteristics (Tajfel & Turner, 1979). When people with similar interests join together, they formsocial groups (Turner, 1982), and these groups tend to adopt a collective identity in order todistinguish between members and non-members (Ashmore, Deaux, & McLaughlin, 2004).Heider (1958) introduced balance theory to help explain how and why individuals interact with  others. Through unit relations, balance theory states that things are connected in some way and thatpeople engage in dyadic and triadic relationships, whether positive or negative, in order to maintaina balanced state of being. In a dyadic relationship, if person A likes person B, balance is attained if that feeling is reciprocated (i.e., B likes A). In a triadic relationship, a balanced state is attained if allthree people like each other or if, as posited by Heider, two negative relationships and one positiverelationship are present. This triadic relationship is of particular interest to the study of sportrivalry, as it helps to explain the adversarial relationship fans often have with their favorite team'srival. For example, a fan that has a positive relationship with his or her favorite team will have anegative relationship with the favorite team's rival because of the competitive, or negativerelationship the favorite and rival teams share.Cialdini et al. (1976) utilized the unit relations principle in balance theory to introduce Basking InReflected Glory (BIRGing), which explains how fan association and identification with a favoriteteam is affected by game performance. In a study conducted at seven schools with prominent collegefootball programs, the authors found that people were more likely to wear team apparel and useassociative words the Monday following a win than a non-win. Further, Cialdini and Richardson(1980) found that individuals highly identified with their favorite team or university would ratherderogate, or Blast (p. 406) the opposing team, university, or fans than distance themselves fromthe favorite group when faced with reflected failure.In a similar vein, the term Cutting Off Reflected Failure (CORFing) describes the tendency of peopleto distance from the perceived failure of a team, person, or group (Snyder & Fromkin, 1980; Snyder,Lassegard, & Ford, 1986). Regarding highly identified sport fans, Wann and Branscombe (1990)found that fans possessing a strong identification with their favorite team were more likely to BIRGand less likely to CORF for long periods of time as compared to fans possessing a weak identificationwith their favorite team. Bizman and Yinon (2002) assert that highly identified fans may be morelikely to CORF but continue, and even increase their involvement with the favorite team afterfeelings associated with a loss have dissipated. Groups of opposing fans varying in levels of identification often interact when supporting their favorite teams, and these interactions lead to areview of intergroup relations and rivalry.Intergroup Relations and RivalryIt is an inherent attribute of humans to strive for high self-esteem (Crocker & Park, 2004), and themere presence of another can motivate an individual to act in a certain way to display mastery (Deci,1975), or somehow compare favorably with someone else (Mowen, 2004; Triplett, 1897). For thisreason, people will participate in activities where they can exhibit a level of self-efficacy, and oneway for a sport fan to do this is through the vicarious experience of supporting their favorite team(Bandura, 1977). By BIRGing, sport fans feel as though they are part of the successful team, and thatthey can achieve personal goals (Cialdini et al., 1976).When groups form and share a collective identity (Ashmore et al., 2004), they tend to showfavoritism toward in-group members and ostracism toward out-group members. This is known as in-group bias (Tajfel & Turner, 1979), and the Robbers Cave Experiment (Sheriff, Harvey, White, Hood,& Sheriff, 1961) was one of the first studies to investigate this phenomenon. Participants in thestudy were grade school boys in a summer camp setting split into two teams and given theopportunity to compete against each other. During the competitive phase of the study, the teamsdisplayed in-group bias (e.g., team shirts) and out-group ostracism (e.g., vandalizing campsites of the other team) to the point that researchers had to separate the boys on multiple occasions.In-group bias is also present in the descriptions individuals give of other people (Brewer, 1979). This  is known as Linguistic Intergroup Bias (LIB), and asserts that individuals tend to describe in-groupactions more favorably and abstractly than out-group actions (Maass, Arcuri, Salvi, & Semin, 1989).LIB is present in sport in the way fans evaluate team and player performance (Wann & Thomas,1994), and the sportsmanship of in-group and out-group fans (Wann & Dolan, 1994; Wann & Grieve,2005).The disposition of mirth and sport disposition theories further help to explain in-group bias inintergroup relationships, and the feelings between fans of rival teams in particular. Disposition of mirth theory (Zillmann & Cantor, 1976), similar to the German term schadenfreude (Kahle & Close,2011), states that a person will feel joy if someone he or she likes is successful and displeasure if that person experiences failure. Particular to sport, sport disposition theory asserts that fans willcheer when their favorite team is successful and the favorite team's opponent is unsuccessful whenthe two teams are playing each other (Zillmann et al., 1989).Rivalry in sport can affect a person's physiological reactions (Hillman, Cuthbert, Bradley, & Lang,2004), perceptions of a team's sponsors (Davies, Veloutsou, & Costa, 2006), and the likelihood tohelp others in distress (Levine, Prosser, Evans, & Reicher, 2005). Additionally, Lee (1985) assertsthat rivalries have the ability to strengthen in-group bias and result in hostility among fans of rivalteams. This has certainly been the case with rabid soccer fans commonly referred to as soccerhooligans (Spaaij, 2008). Some authors have asserted that team identification or the presence of arival did not necessarily increase fan aggression (Dimmock & Grove, 2010; Lewis, 2007), while otherresearch has found that fans would be willing to commit anonymous acts of violence, even murder,against the star player and coach of a rival team (Wann, Haynes, McLean, & Pullen, 2003; Warm,Petersen, Cothran, & Dykes, 1999). The unfortunate story of a University of Alabama fan poisoningthe Toomer's Corner trees near the Auburn University campus is an example of fans displayingantisocial behavior toward a rival team (Schlabach, 2011).The preceding literature review helps explain the underlying theories of rivalry in sport however,there is currently little research addressing how fans feel about their favorite team's rival. It isdifficult to properly measure the effects of sport rivalry on fan psychology and behavior absent a valid measurement tool. Thus, the following section details the methods used in the developmentand validation of the scale.MethodsInstrument DevelopmentIn order to address the perceptions of fans toward their favorite team's rival, the technique fordeveloping marketing measures identified by Churchill (1979) was used. Churchill's techniquerequires the researcher to: 1) specify the construct(s) being explained, 2) generate sample items, 3)collect data to initially test items, 4) purify the measure, and 5) collect data to assess reliability and validity.Specify Construct. In order to identify the construct of rivalry in sport, a review of the existingliterature regarding fan behavior and team identification was conducted (Creswell, 2005). Utilizingthe existing literature, general interview questions regarding rivalry in sport were developed. Inparticular, these questions gauged participants' feelings regarding their favorite team and the rivalteam in direct and indirect competitive situations.Generation of Sample Items. In order to generate sample items to be tested, 15 semi-structuredinterviews using the constructivist viewpoint (Crotty, 1998) and grounded theory (Creswell, 2007)  were conducted over one calendar year. Interview participants were asked to identify their favoriteteam's rival to provide personal context for the study, and transcripts were used to identify trendsregarding fan perceptions of favorite and rival teams. A list of 112 statements was compiled toaddress the on-field successes and failures of the favorite and rival teams, and the indirectcompetition (i.e., when the rival team is playing someone other than the favorite team) of thefavorite team's rival. Next, in order to ensure the statements properly measured the construct, anexpert panel was utilized (Churchill, 1979). The five individuals that served on the expert panel arewell known for their work in the areas of fan identification, consumption, and behavior.Initial Item Testing. Following an initial review by the expert panel, a sample of fans reachedthrough online web sites of teams competing in the football bowl season during December 2010 and January 2011 was used for the first sample. Participants in the first sample were directed to take thesurvey on, and completed surveys were analyzed using Exploratory Factor Analysis(EFA) in SPSS 18 (Tabachnick & Fidell, 2007).Purify the Measure. Following the data analysis of the first sample, the expert panelists againreviewed the construct, and identified factors and items to determine any areas of concernregarding question clarity and redundancy. During the second expert panel review, some items weredeleted or added to ensure that the scale properly measured the sport rivalry construct.Collect data to assess reliability and validity. A second sample of 374 fans was collected duringFebruary and March of 2011 using participants reached through in-person Self-AdministeredQuestionnaires (SAQ) (Lohr, 2008) and online protocol. SAQ participants were reached at threeNational Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I men's basketball games in the MountainWest region. Online participants in the second sample were reached through team-specific fan webpages and administered the survey via and DistributionThe final version of the survey sent to the first samplecontained items measuring rivalry (37 questions),combined with demographic (3 questions), favorite team(8 questions), and rival team information (3 questions).Participants were asked to identify their favorite team'srival, and indicate their perceptions toward the rival using a 7-point Likert-type scale (1--StronglyDisagree, 3--Neutral, 7--Strongly Agree).SAQ protocol was used because it gives participants freedom to respond in the manner they desired(de Leeuw & Hox, 2008). An online protocol was utilized because it allowed for a wider sample to bereached (Gaiser & Schreiner, 2009), and visitors to a specific site were given the opportunity tocomplete the survey (Manfreda & Vehovar, 2008). Online participants in the first and second samplewere given one reminder to take the survey during collection, and SAQ collection took place at threecollege basketball games in an attempt to reach the most respondents (de Leeuw, Hox, & Dillman,2008; Miller & Smith, 1983). Attempts to ensure no one under the age of 18 completed a surveywere taken in both the SAQ and online distribution methods. As an incentive, participants in bothsamples and collection methods were given a chance to enter for one of eight $25 VISA gift cards.Results


Jul 29, 2017


Jul 29, 2017
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