‘Now’s the time to be a Cubs fan’: Professor on what supporting the Cubs does to people’s brains


The Chicago Cubs celebrate after defeating the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO — After years of losses, they still believe — and last year, Cubs fans were finally rewarded for their undying faith with a World Series win.

But what makes them so loyal?

WGN Morning News talked to Jonathan A. Jenson, an assistant professor of sport administration at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, via Facetime, about his first of its kind — a 10-year study of the psychology of Cubs fans.

Jensen and his colleagues initially set out to answer the question, “Why would you support a losing team for so long?”

Results of their study showed that Cubs fan previously found themselves “basking in spite of reflected behavior,” or showing allegiance for a team, even if they exhibit poor performances.

But now that the Cubs have persevered to win the 2016 World Series, Jensen’s team revealed after surveying 275 Cubs fans that they are now “basking in reflected glory,” or rejoicing as if they have personally come out victorious despite the odds.

Jensen added that “now’s the time to be a Cubs fan,” as the teams supporters have felt more self-assured and more confident in their own abilities.

He and his team are excited for the future of sports psychology, an increasingly more popular topic of interest for researchers.



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