When passions for teams get out of hand

October 1, 2013

Donelson R. Forsyth, a social psychologist and expert on group dynamics, comments.


For fans, rivalries are what make sports great.

But when those intense loyalties for a team descend into fatal altercations, researchers say, the culprits almost always deeply regret their actions afterward.

One group "goads the other, and then it escalates," said Donelson Forsyth, a psychologist at the University of Richmond who studies fan violence. "But afterward, they can't believe they let the group's 'mob mentality' overtake them and mislead them in such a fatal way."

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