Murray State Theses and Dissertations


The current study sought to understand if mortality salience and identification with the University of Kentucky men’s varsity basketball team (UK) would interact in such a way as to influence participants’ willingness to engage in anonymous acts of aggression toward fans, coaches and players of rival sport teams. A research question was also evaluated which asked if mortality salience might be a potential mediator between participants’ identification and their likelihood to engage in anonymous acts of aggression. Results indicated that mortality salience was not a significant predictor and there was no significant interaction between identification and mortality salience. As a result, subsequent mediation analysis also did not find mortality salience to be a mediator between identification and likelihood to engage in anonymous acts of aggression. Results did support previous research, which found identification to be a significant predictor of anonymous aggression. Participants who reported higher identification with UK were also more likely to report willingness to engage in anonymous aggression toward fans, players, and coaches of rival sport teams.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Author's Keywords

Psychology, Sport Fandom, Aggression, Mortality Salience, Terror Management Theory, Identification

Degree Awarded

Master of Arts




College of Humanities and Fine Arts

Thesis Advisor

Jana Hackathorn

Committee Chair

Jana Hackathorn

Committee Member

Dan Wann

Committee Member

Sean Rife

Committee Member

Jared Rosenberger

Document Type