Sports and Music: Emotion
in High Gear
Q: What event captures the largest TV audience in the world?
A: The opening ceremony of the 1996 Summer Olympics was seen by an estimated 3 billion viewers worldwide (Wulf, 1996)! World Cup Soccer competition draws up to 2 billion viewers watching some part of the multigame series (Real, 1989)! The most-watched single show in U. S. TV history was the 1993 Super Bowl, seen by an estimated 133.4 million viewers, about half the nation's population.
Q: How did the advent of golf tournaments broadcast on TV significantly slow play on actual golf courses?
A: Amateurs suddenly felt they had to bend over and line up their putts as they had seen the pros do on TV, even though they often had no idea what they were doing.
Q: What percentage of popular songs mentioning alcohol present its use as having no consequences to the user?
A: 91%. Only 9% mentioned any negative consequences (Roberts, Henriksen, & Christenson, 1999).
Although emotion is a major component of many, if not most, types of media use, there are some domains where both what we feel in response to consuming the media and how we express that feeling are particularly central to the experience. This chapter looks at two of those content areas, sports and music. Before beginning to examine them, let's look a little at the psychology of emotion.