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Contemporary Attitude Theory in Sport: Theoretical Considerations and Implications

  • Mathematics
  • Psychology


Although the attitude construct has received considerable attention in the social psychological literature, its application to better understand how people form strong, stable and continuous involvement with athletic teams remains largely unexplored. Following a review of attitude strength research in other disciplines, previous methods used to investigate attitudes in the leisure and sport literatures are reviewed. Based on this review, a framework for the study of attitudes is discussed for understanding allegiance to sport teams. This framework includes a description of the structural relations among various attitude properties and their likely influences on the persistence of attitudes over time, resistance of attitudes in the face of challenges, thoughts about the attitude object, and the likelihood of attitudes influencing behaviour. It is suggested that consideration of attitude strength issues may allow sport managers to better understand how attitudes may be formed toward teams, and may provide insights into how to manage fan loyalty.

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