Using Sport Fandom as an Escape: Searching for Relief from Under-Stimulation and Over-Stimulation

Wann, Daniel L.; Allen, Beverly; Rochelle, Al R.
January 2004
International Sports Journal;Winter2004, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p104
Academic Journal
Although some authors have suggested that fans use sport to escape boredom and monotony (i.e., under-stimulation), others have suggested that sport serves as a diversion from stress and anxiety (i.e., over-stimulation). The current pair of investigations were an empirical assessment of whether fans endorse one or both of these uses of fandom. In both studies, participants (Study 1 N = 95; Study 2 N = 210) completed a questionnaire assessing their level of escape motivation and their perceptions of the stress and boredom in their lives. Participants with a moderate to high level of escape motivation also completed a second questionnaire assessing their reason for using fandom as an escape (i.e., to escape from over-stimulation or under-stimulation). Results from both studies revealed positive correlations between perceptions of both the stress and boredom in one's life and the use of sport random as an escape. Furthermore, respondents with a propensity toward the use of sport as a diversion reported doing so to escape both over-stimulation and under-stimulation.


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