Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

George Bizer




research, successful, fans, perceived


Previous research suggests that association with successful organizations can cause an increase in self-esteem and higher self-appraisal in individuals. In the current research, we examined whether fan association with a successful or unsuccessful sports team impacted the perceived likability of an individual. Based upon the previous research on association, we hypothesized that fans of successful teams would be perceived as more likable. However, centered on previous research on loyalty, we also tested a second hypothesis that fans of unsuccessful teams would be perceived as more likable. Participants read short passages describing either a fan of an unsuccessful team, a non-fan, or a fan of a successful team. Following the presentation of each passage, participants reported the perceived likability of the individual. Results presented conflicting findings such that one of the passages indicated that fans of unsuccessful teams were rated as more likable than fans of successful ones, while the other passage indicated a trend in the opposite direction. Participants’ sports fanship did not moderate these effects. My research thus suggests that differences in likability based on sports team affiliation may be affected by something outside of actual sports fanship; this may include effects of pity for the individual, self-monitoring or self-esteem.