Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
School of Communication
Caleb T. Carr
The present study used fantasy sports as a vehicle for investigating social identity formation and expression in online communication scenarios. Particularly of interest to the researcher were the mechanisms by which affinity for an individual’s fantasy sports league was generated, perceived public commitment to a fantasy sports identity, and the impact that commitment had on respondents’ behavior and self-concept. It was believed completing tasks associate with fantasy sports competitions and interacting socially with fellow fantasy league participants would have a direct effect on players’ level of collective self-esteem. It was also posited evaluations of collective self-esteem would then predict the likelihood of and extent to which players publicly committed themselves to fantasy sports as part of their identity. Recent research in the field of computer-mediated communication has investigated the effects of perceived public commitment to a personal identity trait. Building on such research, the present study looked to document the effect of public commitment to a group based, social identity. In sum, a total of five hypotheses were proposed predicting various relationships among variables including collective self-esteem, public commitment, prototypical behavioral displays, and personal self-esteem. Survey data was collected and used to test each hypothesis. The majority of hypothesized relationships were supported. The implication of these findings and their impact on the fields of communication, fantasy sports, psychology, and sociology are discussed here.
Mason, Adam James, "Fake Sports, Real Impact? Investigating Social Identity, Identity Construction, and Perceptions of Self Using Fantasy Sports Leagues as a Platform for Communication Research" (2017). Theses and Dissertations. 809.