I want you to think about how you feel when your favorite team wins? Have you ever found yourself saying, “we won” or “we really played our hearts out”? When your team wins do you feel like you were a part of the team success? A study that was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychologyexamined the tendency for individuals to “bask in reflected glory” (BIRG) by “announcing one’s associations with successful others” even when they were not “involved in the cause of the source’s success.” Do people find it comforting to belong and identify with a successful team? Possibly being a fan of a successful team may enhance his/her confidence and is why so many people are emotionally involved in their team’s wins and losses.
If we think right now about the World Series games, I have seen so many people who are (or are becoming) passionate fans, wearing their favorite team’s colors and attire. When their team is winning, fans unite, share a common interest and goal and become a part of that team’s community. I think that although it is interesting that fans may relate their team’s success to their own, I think it ultimately is a way for people to be passionate about something and enjoy being a part of something positive. The question becomes how do fans react when their team loses? Do they identify the same way or do they turn the “we” to “they”?
Cialdini, R., & Borden, R. (1976). Basking in reflected glory: Three (football) field studies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 34(3), 366-375.