Cultural differences in the attributions of sports fans in the US have not been sufficiently explored. Studies have shown that individualists have the tendency to make more internal attributions compared to collectivists (Kashima & Triandis, 1986; Al-Zahrani & Kaplowitz, 1993; Cha & Nam, 1985; Hallahan et al., 1997). Furthermore, in sports setting, individualists have the tendency to engage in the self-serving bias, whereas collectivists may not engage in this process (Schuster et, al, 1989; Lee et. al, 1996; Hallahan et. al, 1997; Crittendon, 1991). Undergraduate students at La Sierra University, California, participated in an experiment where cultural differences in fans' attributions were examined. Three hypotheses were developed. First, it was hypothesized that highly identified fans will make more attributions than low identified fans. Second, collectivism will be positively related to external attributions in each win and loss situation as the self-serving bias will not be seen. The interaction of collectivism and fan identification (FI) will also be positively related to external attributions in each win and loss situations after controlling for age, gender, and ethnicity. Third, individualism will be positively related with external attributions in loss situations and will be positively related with internal attributions in win situations confirming the self-serving bias. After controlling for age, gender, and ethnicity, the interaction of individualism and FI will also be positively related with external attributions in loss situations, and positively related with internal attributions in win situations enhancing the self-serving attribution bias. The instruments used in this study are as follows: The Sports Spectatorship Identification Scale (SSIS), The Individualism and Collectivism Scale (I/C Scale), and the Revised Causal Dimension Scale II for Sports Fans (RCDS-II). Correlations and hierarchical regressions were used to test the hypotheses. Inconclusive results were found regarding cultural differences, but significant findings were found for attributions. The interaction of collectivism and fan identification was negatively associated with internal attributions across wins (p < .05). Age was negatively related with internal attributions across wins (p < .05). Asian Americans had lower levels of internal attributions across wins (p < .01). Suggestions are made for future research.
School of Behavioral Health
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Subject - Local
Sports fans; Culture Differences; Attributions; Collectivism; Internal attributions; External attributions; Fan identification; Self-serving attribution bias; Sports Spectatorship Identification Scale; Individualism and Collectivism Scale; Revised Causal Dimension Scale II
Loma Linda University Libraries
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Park, John C., "Cultural study of Attributions of Sports Fans" (2012). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. 92.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses & Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives