Xavier Professor Offers Scientific Reasons For Our Sports Obsessions

January 13, 2011

A recent study found people value the social aspect of religion more than the theology or spirituality. Seems that principle applies to sports, too. Crazy outfits, special dances, other things you would never do, are acceptable and expected at a sporting event. Why?

Christian End, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at Xavier University, has some ideas that he shared with Men’s Health.

“People get away with things in a crowd of 60,000 that they would never dream of doing at a practice with only 10 other spectators,” End says. “Some fans believe that being decked out in team gear and yelling at the top of their lungs will add a spark on the field, End explains. And that makes you more invested in the game. “I think the belief that you’re somewhat contributing to the game makes your team’s success that much more valuable at the end,” says End.”

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Christian End can be reached at 513-745-3249 or end@xavier.edu.