The Secret Lives of Sports Fans: The Science of Sports Obsession

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9781468308778: The Secret Lives of Sports Fans: The Science of Sports Obsession
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What is happening in our brains and bodies when we feel strong emotion while watching a game? How do sports fans resemble political junkies, and why do we form such a strong attachment to a sports team? Journalist Eric Simons presents in-depth research in an accessible and brilliant way, sure to interest readers of Malcolm Gladwell. Through reading the literature and attending neuroscience conferences, talking to fans, psychologists, and scientists, and working through his issues as part of a collaboration with the NPR science program RadioLab, Eric Simons hoped to find an answer that would explain why the attractive force of this relationship with treasured sports teams is so great that we can’t leave it.

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About the Author:

Eric Simons is the author of Darwin Slept Here, also published by Overlook. He is a contributor to NPR's Radiolab and lives in San Francisco.

From Booklist:

If sports fandom were charted on a bell curve, the indifferent would occupy one end, with the seriously obsessed on the other. Author Simons is interested in the seriously obsessed side of the curve, and here he reports on the surprisingly extensive research done on the psychology of being a fan. Sports as empathy—how closely fans identify with their teams—receives considerable attention, as does sports as love, something very different from romantic love. It isn’t lust and it isn’t romance. Other questions are equally provocative. Can sports be truly addictive? Do they provide a group dynamic otherwise unavailable in our increasingly isolated society, particularly in our new social-media world? How about sports as a substitute for war? Simons examines research that explores all these possible dynamics, and, if hard conclusions are generally lacking, he does provide a fascinating glimpse into why sports culture is what it is. Sports fans will find this a powerful tool for self-examination. --Wes Lukowsky

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9781590208649: The Secret Lives of Sports Fans

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ISBN 10:  1590208641 ISBN 13:  9781590208649
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams, 2013
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