We asked every respondent to rate their level of fear about how their actions at home might affect the team they are rooting for: while 21% of respondents are at least slightly paranoid, almost no respondents (3%) are very or completely paranoid.

In qualitative research about superstitions, fans often talked about “stopping”, “starting”, or “continuing” activities. As a result, we asked respondents about being afraid that changing their actions might affect their team: 19% were at least slightly afraid. Again, however, almost no respondents (3%) are very or completely afraid of affecting their team.

In qualitative research, respondents had complained about the presence or absence or activities or non-activities of companions. Only 16% of respondents are fearful about companion behavior, and again almost no respondents (3%) confessed to being very or completely fearful.

Respondents assigned greater agency to their own actions than those of their companions, with 21% of respondents being at least slightly paranoid about their actions at home vs. 16% being fearful about a companion’s behavior affecting the team they are rooting for.

This is an excerpt from the free Researchscape white paper, “Sports Superstitions & The Big Game”. Download your own copy now:

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Author Notes:

Jeffrey Henning

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Jeffrey Henning, IPC is a professionally certified researcher and has personally conducted over 1,400 survey research projects. Jeffrey is a member of the Insights Association and the American Association of Public Opinion Researchers. In 2012, he was the inaugural winner of the MRA’s Impact award, which “recognizes an industry professional, team or organization that has demonstrated tremendous vision, leadership, and innovation, within the past year, that has led to advances in the marketing research profession.” In 2022, the Insights Association named him an IPC Laureate. Before founding Researchscape in 2012, Jeffrey co-founded Perseus Development Corporation in 1993, which introduced the first web-survey software, and Vovici in 2006, which pioneered the enterprise-feedback management category. A 35-year veteran of the research industry, he began his career as an industry analyst for an Inc. 500 research firm.