Psychology of fandom: Local fans have perspective

  • Updated: November 9, 2011 - 6:53 AM

Minnesotans who jump on and off the bandwagon have a good perspective about sports, a University of Minnesota sociology professor says.

University of Minnesota sociology professor Douglas Hartmann sees something else when he sees empty seats: "Minnesotans having a good perspective about sports."

"It is, 'If they're winning, that's great, we want to be a part of it. If not, we'll do something else,'" Hartmann said. "It reflects a certain, almost enlightened perspective on sports. We don't have to let it drag us down if it's not going well."

In fact, Hartmann wonders if that perspective is one reason why the Vikings' quest for a new stadium has been so difficult.

John Tauer, an associate professor of psychology at University of St. Thomas, played basketball for the Tommies. He is now the interim coach of the men's basketball team and studies sports psychology. He knows fans can take sports way too seriously.

Sports, Tauer said, meet our competitive needs, gives some people the feeling of being a part of something bigger than themselves. He can cite studies of how applications skyrocket when a college team has big-time unexpected success.

"People want to associate with winners," Tauer said. "It makes us feel good about ourselves. At some level, being a fan, it is connected to a basic need of feeling good."


  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Toronto - LP: A. Loup 4 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: J. Outman 6
LA Angels - LP: H. Santiago 1 FINAL
Detroit - WP: R. Porcello 2
Atlanta - LP: G. Schlosser 3 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. Valverde 4
Seattle - LP: T. Wilhelmsen 2 FINAL
Miami - WP: M. Dunn 3
St. Louis - LP: S. Maness 2 FINAL
Washington - WP: R. Soriano 3
Milwaukee - WP: Z. Duke 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: J. Gomez 2
NY Yankees - WP: P. Claiborne 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: H. Bell 1
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 8 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: Y. Ventura 3
Cincinnati - WP: H. Bailey 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: C. Villanueva 2
Chicago WSox - WP: E. Johnson 16 FINAL
Texas - LP: R. Ross Jr. 2
Houston - LP: B. Peacock 1 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Chavez 4
Philadelphia - WP: J. Diekman 10 FINAL
Colorado - LP: M. Belisle 9
San Francisco - WP: T. Lincecum 4 FINAL
San Diego - LP: R. Erlin 3
Arizona - LP: J. Collmenter 1 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: J. Wright 4
Baltimore - LP: B. Matusz 5 FINAL
Boston - WP: E. Mujica 6
Dallas 85 FINAL
San Antonio 90
Charlotte 88 FINAL
Miami 99
Washington 102 FINAL
Chicago 93
Portland 122 FINAL
Houston 120
Philadelphia 4 FINAL
NY Rangers 2
Detroit 1 FINAL
Boston 4
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Montreal 3
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
San Jose 7





question of the day

Poll: Which quarterback is best in the NFL draft?

Weekly Question


Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters