"No" Is Not "Low": Improving the Assessment of Sport Team Identification

Jeffrey D. James
Elizabeth B. Delia
and Daniel L. L. Wann

Scholars have studied sport team identification for decades, advancing our understanding of the influence of a psychological connection to a sport team on attitudinal and behavioral outcomes. Despite the contribution of the study of team identification to the sport fan psychology and sport consumer behavior literatures, a critical issue is apparent. A review of the methods used by scholars to assess and study team identification uncovered a misinterpretation of participant responses to team identification scale items. In previous re-search, not-identified individuals have been examined as individuals with low team identification. We illustrate the problem with scales used to measure team identification, then propose one approach to resolving the problem with the most frequently used scale, the Sport Spectator Identification Scale. We report on the testing of a modified scale, the Sport Spectator Identification Scale-Revised (SSIS-R), to detect not-identified individuals. We conclude with suggestions moving forward the study of team identification in general.