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Genuine or impression management? Uncovering biases in how people respond to the Black Lives Matter movement in sport

Genuine or impression management? Uncovering biases in how people respond to the Black Lives... National surveys reveal that sports fans exhibit greater support for athletes, sports teams and leagues endorsing social justice initiatives compared to the general population, highlighting the potential of sports for positive social impact. This study investigates whether such responses are influenced by systematic biases.Design/methodology/approachReplicating a Nielsen national survey, two experiments explore whether biases affect support for athletes' participation in the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. The study also examines partisan motivated reasoning as a factor driving sports fans' support for BLM.FindingsWhile avid fans display stronger endorsement of BLM compared to causal/non-sports fans, evidence suggests that systematic biases distort these responses. When sport identity becomes salient, reported support for the BLM movement becomes inflated.Research limitations/implicationsResearchers often employ self-report surveys to gauge audience perceptions of athlete activism or cause-related initiatives, particularly when assessing their impact. This study's findings indicate that this context is susceptible to SDB.Originality/valueThe study underscores the role of systematic biases in self-report surveys, particularly in socially desirable contexts. People tend to over-report “positive behavior,” leading survey participants to respond more favorably to questions that are socially desirable. Therefore, interpreting survey results with caution becomes essential when the research context is deemed socially (un)desirable. It is crucial for researchers to apply appropriate measures to identify and mitigate systematic response biases. The authors recommend that researchers adopt both procedural and statistical remedies to detect and reduce social desirability biases. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship Emerald Publishing

Genuine or impression management? Uncovering biases in how people respond to the Black Lives Matter movement in sport

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References (35)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1464-6668
DOI
10.1108/ijsms-09-2023-0184
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

National surveys reveal that sports fans exhibit greater support for athletes, sports teams and leagues endorsing social justice initiatives compared to the general population, highlighting the potential of sports for positive social impact. This study investigates whether such responses are influenced by systematic biases.Design/methodology/approachReplicating a Nielsen national survey, two experiments explore whether biases affect support for athletes' participation in the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. The study also examines partisan motivated reasoning as a factor driving sports fans' support for BLM.FindingsWhile avid fans display stronger endorsement of BLM compared to causal/non-sports fans, evidence suggests that systematic biases distort these responses. When sport identity becomes salient, reported support for the BLM movement becomes inflated.Research limitations/implicationsResearchers often employ self-report surveys to gauge audience perceptions of athlete activism or cause-related initiatives, particularly when assessing their impact. This study's findings indicate that this context is susceptible to SDB.Originality/valueThe study underscores the role of systematic biases in self-report surveys, particularly in socially desirable contexts. People tend to over-report “positive behavior,” leading survey participants to respond more favorably to questions that are socially desirable. Therefore, interpreting survey results with caution becomes essential when the research context is deemed socially (un)desirable. It is crucial for researchers to apply appropriate measures to identify and mitigate systematic response biases. The authors recommend that researchers adopt both procedural and statistical remedies to detect and reduce social desirability biases.

Journal

International Journal of Sports Marketing and SponsorshipEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 19, 2024

Keywords: Athlete activism; Partisan motivated reasoning; Response bias; Social desirability

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