The utility of modern theories of intergroup bias for research on antecedents to team identification
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Objectives: Much of the literature on team identification has focused on assessing outcomes to theconstruct rather than on motives for its development and maintenance. This article comments on research and theorising in social psychology that can contribute to an understanding of motives for teamidentification.Design: A review and comment on the application of theories of intergroup bias to the study of teamidentification.Method: Four modern theories of intergroup bias—social identity theory, optimal distinctiveness theory,uncertainty-identity theory, and terror management theory—are overviewed. Potential applications ofthese theories to future research on motives for team identification are also offered.Results: It is argued that the four theories share similar tenets with reference to motives for social identity. A programme of research that evaluates these motives in the context of sport team identification is offered.Conclusions: It is hoped that this paper will stimulate research into precursors of team identification andthat the findings from such research will help sport teams and governing bodies to promote or controlcertain types of spectator behaviour.
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