Self-Conscious Emotions and Fans

Self-Conscious Emotions and Fans

Julie of Partridge (Southern Illinois University, USA)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 27
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8125-3.ch004
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This chapter provides background and context for the importance of self-conscious emotions, particularly shame, pride, and envy/jealousy, in understanding fan behaviors. Particular attention is provided to how self-conscious emotions are elicited, how they differ from basic emotions such as anger and joy, the adaptive and maladaptive purposes that they each serve, how social identity and vicarious experience are connected to self-conscious emotions, and how researchers can utilize these topics to better understand fans and fan behaviors.
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Humans have the capacity to experience a wide variety of both positive and negative emotions. Emotions are generally thought to be functional for humans such that they help people adapt, engage, and survive within their environment (Lazarus, 1991; Tooby & Cosmides, 2008). For example, when an individual faces an obstacle to obtaining a goal, a common emotional response would be anger. This anger may serve as an impetus to confront (and ultimately remove) the obstacle. Emotions are generally believed to serve the important purpose of helping humans identify, organize and prioritize their behaviors in order to function effectively in response to numerous stimuli to which we are exposed (Keltner & Gross, 1999).

Emotions can also facilitate social functioning (Fischer & Manstead, 2018). Humans have a strong, innate need to maintain social relationships (Baumeister & Leary, 1995) and emotions can impact different social outcomes. The development and maintenance of relationships with others (i.e., social affiliation) often depends upon our ability to engage in appropriate emotional responses to our environment. Emotions may function as a means for strengthening the bond that individuals may feel within a social group and enhance loyalty to that group (Fischer & Manstead, 2018). Conversely, emotions may also be utilized to help a specific individual or ingroup establish themselves as a separate entity that competes with others for resources (i.e., social distancing). In other words, while humans want to be considered part of a social group, we also wish to establish and enhance our own social status. Humans recognize that different social groups may be competing for limited resources, and thus, being in a group with greater social status may be beneficial (Baldwin & Baccus, 2004; Muris & Meesters, 2014). For example, sport fans might want to establish themselves as a unique group and experience greater levels of self-esteem based on whether their favorite team has qualified for post-season play, as it indicates a greater level of success compared to all of the teams in a league as a whole. Moreover, the experience of group-based emotions has even been found to increase levels of ingroup identification (Kessler & Hollbach, 2005), making the study of group emotional responses important for sport fan behavior research. This is particularly true within the context of sport rivalry in which fans’ identity is often framed within a level of collective self-esteem based upon a team’s performance in relation to a rival (Berendt & Uhrich, 2016).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Shame Coping: The act of processing the experience of shame through which an individual either acknowledges, magnifies, ignores, or addresses the source of a shaming event.

Shame: A highly social, yet self-directed emotion that occurs as a result of being devalued in the eyes of others.

Self-Conscious Emotions: Cognitively complex emotions involving self-awareness, self-representation, and self-evaluation of one’s own attributes or actions.

Vicarious Shame: The experiencing of an emotion by an individual based on the actions or experiences of an identified ingroup.

Jealousy: An emotion that occurs when one fears losing an important relationship to a rival.

Cognitive Appraisals: The experience of using one’s own motives and beliefs to interpret personal experiences and thus, emotional responses.

Hubris: Excessive levels of positive self-esteem centered around egoism.

Authentic Pride: Occurs when one makes a positive evaluation of his/her own achievements.

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