We just beat Chelsea in the last minute of the game. I'm the happiest person on the planet right now!
But I wonder why I feel so good about Arsenal winning?
Hey Dr. Allen. Thanks for meeting with me!
The Mindset of a Sports Fan
It's my pleasure to explain to you what's occurring in your brain when you watch your team!
I wanted to take you to a field for better context, after all you like to play as much as you like to watch soccer right?
I love nothing more than the field Dr. Allen! So why do I feel so connected to Arsenal?
When people choose to root for a team that's not their home team, it’s often because doing so reflects some other part of their self-identity, one in particular that they want to project to other people.
That makes a lot of sense, but where does the emotion come into play?
Levels of testosterone are elevated in both winning players and fans after a sports victory and decreased in losing players and fans, and testosterone is a reward molecule that activates brain pleasure centers and suppresses negative emotional circuits in the brain.
Wow, I never thought about it like that!
Thanks for teaching me so much today Dr. Allen!
No problem- if you take anything from today remember it's not accidental that people tend to root for teams based on a couple of criteria: where they grew up, if they don't root for their "home” team, they root for a team that they feel best reflects their self-image.