Optimal distinctiveness theory indicates that social identification is driven by fundamental needs for assimilation and differentiation. This investigation sought to determine whether priming these needs influences sport team preferences or identification strength. Australian university students who studied sport science undertook a procedure designed to make them feel an increased need for assimilation or differentiation. The participants were then asked to list their favourite sport team and to complete a Team Identification Scale. As expected, those individuals primed to experience an increased need for assimilation were more likely to list a local sport team as their favourite, whereas participants in the need for differentiation group were more likely to list an overseas sport team as their favourite. Three separate 2×2 ANOVAs indicated that identification strength was not influenced by need state priming, by team location, or by an interaction between the two. Discussion is focused on the increasingly important concept of the 'satellite supporter' and on recommendations for future research.
|Journal||International Journal of Sport Psychology|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|