A study on half a million football fans showed the effect of national identity on behaviors

In a recent study of more than 400,000 soccer fans from 35 countries, researchers looked for answers to the question of how belonging to a group identity, such as being a fan of a club or being born in a country, can influence people’s behavior and decisions.

In a study whose results have been published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers have found that National identity It can increase support for individuals within a group, but Club identity It does not have such an effect. Furthermore, football fans tend to be less supportive of players who have left their club.

Researchers say membership in social groups places people into “us” and “them” divisions. They used a popular application called Forza Football used and conducted their test in the annual survey of the best football player in the world in 2018.

The researchers selected 10 players from 10 clubs and 10 different nationalities and showed their information to users in three different ways: name and picture of the player, name and picture with the nationality of the player, and name and picture with the player’s club. The researchers also had access to the information of the users’ favorite clubs and their nationalities.

National group identity is more important for fans

At the end of the survey, they realized that the national identity of the players can have a definite effect favoritism Leave them. When users were presented with the names and pictures of the players along with their nationalities, approx 3.6 percent They had voted for them more than usual.

On the other hand, providing the name of the club where the player was present did not change the decision of the users. In other words, users were more likely to vote for a player based on their shared nationality. But the presence of the player in the user’s favorite club did not affect his opinion in the vote.

The researchers say that the reason for the difference in the effect of club and nationality in users’ decision-making probably depends to some extent on the appearance of each identity. Football fans usually know players not by their nationality, but by their club. Consequently, when nationality is presented as a differentiating factor, it has a greater effect than club.

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