1870 Mag

Go Bucks! Winning Fans Have Self-Esteem Boost

Feeling uber confident lately? Maybe part of that is because of your identity as a huge Buckeye fan, a new study suggests.

Dr. Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, a communication professor at Ohio State, co-authored a journal article that says the social implications of being in a group of fans of a winning team can cause self-esteem boosts:

“So for fans of the winning team, the social aspect of sharing the victory with each other led to a self-esteem boost. For fans of the losing team, sharing the pain may have protected them from losing self-esteem. Those who didn’t watch at all experienced a self-esteem drop – they felt completely left out,” she said.

The study itself actually was based on 174 students from Ohio State and Michigan State, and was centered on the 2016 matchup between the two teams which, you might remember, ended with a game-winning field goal for Michigan State.

Before the game, students from both universities had similar levels of self-esteem when they rated how positive they felt about their body, appearance, academic ability and other measures.

But on the Sunday after the game, the happy Michigan State students had significantly higher levels of self-esteem, which went up even higher on Monday. In contrast, self-esteem levels didn’t change much for the sad Ohio State students.

However, on Monday, when students returned to classes, both those who watched socially and those who watched alone saw self-esteem go up.

So, basically, next time someone berates you for spending all your time watching football, tell them you’re working on your self-image.

Header photo courtesy of Ohio State News.


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