Calls to the police reporting men's assaults on their wives or intimate partners rose 10 percent in areas where the local National Football League team lost a game they were favored to win, according to an analysis of 900 regular-season NFL games reports researchers in a paper in the Quarterly Journal of Economics.
Football games are emotionally laden events of widespread interest, typically garnering 25 percent or more of a local television viewing audience. The disappointment of an unexpected loss, the researchers concluded, raises the risk that football fans may react inappropriately.
In contrast, co-authors David Card, Ph.D., and Gordon Dahl, Ph.D., found no decrease in reports of violence following an unexpected win by the local team or by the team's loss in a game that was expected to be close.
"Our results suggest that the overall rise in violence between the intimate partners we studied is driven entirely by losses in games that matter most to fans," Card said. The timing of the calls to police also indicated that violence occurred within a narrow window roughly corresponding to the final hour of a game and the two hours after.
Card and Dahl say their findings confirm earlier work suggesting that unexpected disappointments affect us more strongly than pleasant surprises. "This is not limited to football," Card said. "Someone who gets a speeding ticket on the way home, for example, might also be more likely to act out in a way he would later regret."
Card and Dahl compared the pre-game betting odds to the game results of regular-season games for six NFL teams—the Carolina Panthers, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs and Tennessee Titans—between 1995 and 2006. This information was matched to records collected from 763 jurisdictions in the relevant states from the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), a database of local police reports.
In one-third of the games they tracked, the local team was expected to win by four or more points. When the favored team lost, however, Card and Dahl's analysis revealed a spike in reports of violence by men against a female partner at home, as compared to weeks the home team did not have a game.
This pattern was most pronounced for losses the authors judged to be more emotionally charged. For example, the rise in police reports after upset losses to a traditional rival (20 percent) was about twice that after upset losses to a non-rival team (8 percent). Violence was also more likely to increase when the local team was still in playoff contention or had a particularly frustrating performance—suffering four or more sacks or turnovers or losing 80 or more yards to penalties. An analysis of the combined effect of these factors showed a 17 percent increase in reports of violence after an upset loss to a rival team while the local team was still in playoff contention.
Violence did not rise appreciably after upset losses when these criteria did not apply, for example, when the local team was no longer in playoff contention, the opponent was not a rival, or the local team's performance was not especially egregious.
The research of Card, of the University of California, Berkeley, and Dahl, at U.C. San Diego, was funded by the Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch of the NICHD.
Robert Wicks | EurekAlert!
Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union
A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.
The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
20.07.2018 | Information Technology
20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences