The Moderating Effect of Trait Aggression on the Relationship Between Spectator Dysfunctional Behavior and Spectator Enjoyment



consumer behavior, spectator dysfunctional behavior, aggression, enjoyment, spectator sport


Incidents of spectator dysfunctional behavior (SDB) routinely occur during competitive athletic games and events. Though SDB’s (i.e., fighting, throwing missiles, verbal assault, and disrupting play) typically have a negative connotation, this investigation sought to further understand the positive associations (e.g., enjoyment) of SDB by introducing a moderating variable of trait aggression. In other words, this examination attempts to understand if the psychological impact of SDB’s is different between spectators with higher levels of trait aggression and those with lower levels or trait aggression, in terms of their enjoyment. In this study two experimental designs were constructed and employed, as a two-way repeated measures ANCOVA (Study 1, N = 252) and two-way ANCOVA (Study 2, N = 234) were performed to identify the relationship between trait aggression and enjoyment of SDB viewership. The design of the survey utilized embedded video clips that demonstrated a specific form of SDB. This survey was then distributed to previous MLB attendees, with the results indicating that spectators with higher levels of trait aggression enjoy watching various forms of SDB more than those with lower levels of trait aggression. The findings reiterate and advance the notion that certain spectators enjoy spectating dysfunctional behaviors at sporting events.


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