Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Common Reading 2020: Seeong-Hee Park, Daniel Mahony, and Yu Kyoum Kim

"The Role of Sport Fan Curiosity: A New Conceptual Approach to the Understanding of Sport Fan Behavior"

"Sport fan exploratory curiosity refers to seeking sensational and novel stimulation from sports, players, teams, or any sport-derived products by engaging in exploratory behaviors."

Seong-Hee Park


Answer to the Picture Riddle Challenge: Basketball!

Author: Seeong-Hee Park, Daniel Mahony, and Yu Kyoum Kim

Seong-Hee Park

Dr. Seong-Hee Park is a professor of International Sport and Leisure at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. He earned his Bachelor’s in physical education from Seoul National University and Ph.D. in educational leadership and organizational development from the University of Louisville. His area of specialization is sport marketing and media. 

Questions and Topics for Discussion

1. What role have sports played in your life?

2. How do sports allow you to explore your curiosity?

3. How can being a sports fan be similar to school work?

Introduction (change)

As a sports fan, I can’t recall an exact moment where I chose my favorite teams or players; they remain an intrinsic part of my life. I grew up cheering for the Pittsburgh Steelers through the wins, the losing records, and the Super Bowl rings. But what influences led me to be the sports fan I am today? 


At an early age, we can form long-term attachments to teams, sports, and players. A sports fan’s attitude can be influenced by factors such as psychology, knowledge, socialization, and promotion of that sport/team. The attitude can be affected by social factors like family members and television. 


Seong-Hee Park, Daniel Mahony, and Yu Kyoum Kim examine how curiosity literature applies to sports in “The Role of Sport Fan Curiosity.” This piece tries to predict sport fan behavior through curiosity concepts; however, you may find yourself thinking back to how you became a sports fan. Is your sports loyalty a long-running family tradition? Did you live in a football town where nothing beat Friday Night Lights? Are the Olympics your favorite holiday? 


Fan behavior can be explained by factors like who you grew up with, where you’ve lived, and what sports you’ve played. Even if your sports interests are random, there’s a curiosity to how you formed yourself as a dedicated sports fan. Who will you root for next? 

Introduction: Marissa


Marissa Massare is a senior at Susquehanna University majoring in Publishing and Editing with minors in Journalism and Sports Media. She has been a Common Reading intern for two years serving as the copyright permissions and introductions and bios editor. In her free time she’s probably catching the latest sporting event or spending time with her family and cat. 

Classroom Activities

1. Devise a research study that would work as a follow up to this one, expanding on its themes. Or, consider a research question that isn't a follow up, but builds on similar themes.

2. Set up a formal debate team structure, but debate teams instead of ideas. Use knowledge that people already have from being fans, as well as additional research.

Additional Resources

Sports Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images - iStock

Want to know more about the psychology of being a sports fan?

Psychology can tell us many things not only about humans in general but it can also explain why we do and act how we do. Knowing what's going on inside our heads can lend an interesting sense of clarity in addition to finding out what makes things like watching sports so enjoyable. By allowing psychology to guide our path into our own minds we can explore our own interests with a deeper meaning.

The Science Behind Fanatic Behavior

"Only one month after April 3rd’s opening day, baseball fans from Boston to Oakland are beginning to hear a familiar cry: “Yankees suck!” These words — chanted in unison, with clapping hands and stomping feet — are the mantra of many spectators who support opposing teams. Such vocal expressions of intergroup rivalry are just one facet of sports fans’ fascinating and often perplexing behavior."