Magi Mike's Blog

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Domestic Violence is Worse After a Derby Football Match Loss

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Dr David Card and Dr Gordon Dahl found the disappointment of an unexpected loss by the local football team made football fans more violent to their WAGs. The rise in violence was most significant in games lost that mattered most to fans. No change in reports of violence followed an unexpected win by the local team or by a loss that was expected, or when a close result was expected. Actually, it is not restricted to football. The findings confirm earlier work suggesting that unexpected disappointments affect us more strongly than pleasant surprises.

The authors used the betting odds on the game before the match to judge what result was expected for certain football matches between 1995 and 2006. The data were compared with domestic violence records from a database of local police reports. In a third of the games, the local team was expected to win comfortably. When it lost, the analysis showed a spike in violence by men against a female partner at home, compared with weeks when the home team did not have a game.

The rise in violence (20 percent) after unanticipated losses to a traditional rival was about twice that (8 percent) after unanticipated losses to some other team. Violence was also more likely (17 percent) when the local team was unexpectedly beaten still in playoff contention, or in a frustrating or controversial manner, penalties, perhaps. The timing of the calls to police also indicated that violence occurred within a narrow window towards the end of a game, and two hours after.

No reference is made to the role of alcoholic drink in the results.

Written by mikemagee

23 March, 2011 at 1:35 am

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