The effect of football results on the well-being of viewers
Psychologists at the University of Konstanz have determined that football results can raise the immediate sense of well-being for viewers, but are unlikely to sustain it in the longer-term. Through a specially-designed smartphone app, Dr. Stefan Stieger and his team of scientists were able to show that the final results of football games have a shorter and less intensive effect as previously thought. The psychologists asked the study participants questions about their sense of well-being via the smartphone app before and after the group stage games of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Study participants were asked three times a day about their feelings, and, as long as they were supporters of the German team, their sense of well-being was better than that of individuals who had not watched the games. The effects were even more prominent after the games that Germany won by a larger margin. However, this increased sense of well-being lasted only between 100 and 150 minutes after the game. Even the morning after Germany´s 4-0 win against Portugal saw a 23 percent drop in the previous day´s enhanced sense of well-being and was therefore just as high as on days without football games.
"The big advantage in our Smartphone study in comparison to other inquiries is that we had the opportunity to ask the participants directly after the games, as well as at specific points in time during the aftermath of the games," explained Stefan Stieger. The developed Smartphone application and its capability for direct questioning of viewers at particular points in time allowed the scientists to ensure that the emotional effect of won or lost games was not over- or underestimated. In contrast to previous studies, the team around Stefan Stieger did not select specific groups of people, and instead, through their orientation on the general population was able to increase the representativeness of the results.