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What Fuels Our Rivalries?


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CONGRATS ON THE BIG W from a Bengals Fan! I wanted to learn more about everyone's feelings on our rivals and why we feel this way towards them (I know I can't stand the Steelers because of how dirty they are). With the help of message board members beginning in 2014, we—the students and professors of the Know Rivalry Project—began answering this question and others related to rivalry in the NFL. No one knows the rivalries of the Bills better than this message board community. Please help us update and expand our results to ensure that the Bills are included by taking 9 minutes to complete our newest survey:




Our previous results have been featured in numerous sports media outlets, as well as the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. You can view those results, links to media coverage, and learn more about us at our KnowRivalry.com website BUT we'd prefer you didn't until you completed the survey via the link above... we don't want to influence your opinions provided in the survey.

We use the Qualtrics online survey software for data collection. This academic research has been approved by two US universities' Institutional Review Boards (IRB) and it poses no risks to respondents. You'll find more information on the disclosure agreement that is required to start the survey. There are plenty of other teams you can look into as well on the site if you had other favorite teams. Thank you for helping us to include the Bills by participating and please share this with any other fans that may also help. 

Zachary Beal, Northern Kentucky University
Dr. Joe Cobbs, Northern Kentucky University
Dr. David Tyler, University of Massachusetts—Amherst

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I hope I'm not breaking any forum rules. Survey aside, I thought rivalry is an interesting topic and I wanted to learn more about it. If I'm doing anything wrong please let me know. Just trying to help my university/professor. Again Congrats on the W! Cheering for you guys the rest of the way! 

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How long is this thing?
Will you come back with the results?

Informed Consent Statement

What is this research?

This is a survey to help us better understand rivalries between and among sport teams and their fans. We are focused on adults, however, so you must be at least 18 years old.

What will I be asked to do?

You'll be asked to answer a series of questions about your favorite team, its rivals, and the rival teams' fans. Some versions of the survey have additional sections, such as your thoughts toward non-rivals, views of sponsors, or ways you follow your favorite team. The end of the survey asks basic demographic questions. This survey typically takes about 9 minutes.

Your participation is voluntary. There is no penalty for not completing the survey, and you may leave at any time by closing your browser window.

What are the risks and benefits of participating?

There are no foreseeable risks for participating in this study. There are no direct personal benefits (e.g., no compensation), but there are benefits to society by contributing to our overall knowledge of social groups (particularly sport fans) and their views toward rivals.

What happens to my data?

Your responses are held strictly confidential. Any data published or shared are made anonymous, and we take several steps to protect the raw data and respondents' confidentiality.

Your data are grouped together ("aggregated") with others' responses and reported as part of a larger set. In some cases your specific quotes may be used, but we do not use your name or any identifying information that would allow you to be personally linked to the statement (or any of your other data). The data are primarily used for academic purposes, such as publishing in academic journals and presenting at conferences. They may also be used to educate industry practitioners (e.g., people who work for sport teams) or as part of student projects, but again, only when individual responses are first made anonymous and/or aggregated within a larger dataset. We also publish certain findings publicly to help other researchers, typically on KnowRivalry.com. Our findings may be combined with other researchers' data, but as always, no personally identifiable information for respondents will be shared. Each respondent is assigned an ID number within our own database, so any reference to your data will be as "Respondent #1234" (for example).

All data are stored on password protected computers. Data are backed up using encrypted, password-protected, two-factor-authenticated online storage solutions and external hard drives stored in locked rooms. Data are kept for the foreseeable future because one of our research goals is to understand how perceptions of rivalry change over time (i.e., as part of a longitudinal study). Should you ever wish to have your data removed, you can contact us directly and we will make our best effort to remove your responses; however, removal may be impossible if we are unable to match you to your responses. We collect as little identifiable information as possible, thus unless you provide your email address or you have something particularly notable in your comments, we may not be able to find your specific responses.

Who do I contact with questions?

Questions regarding the research may be sent to rivalry@umass.edu, an account monitored by this study's researchers. You may also contact the researchers directly. If you have any questions or concerns about your treatment as a participant in this study, you can reach the UMass Human Research Protection Office at +1-413-545-3428 or rescomp@research.umass.edu. The research is subject to UMass IRB protocol #2410.

What next? (important part here)

Clicking below continues to the survey. In lieu of a signature, clicking to continue will serve as confirmation that you...

  • are at least 18 years old
  • have read and understand the informed consent statement above
  • freely agree to participate in the research

If any of the above is not true, or if you wish to exit at any time (including now), simply close your browser window.

Thank you in advance. We are truly grateful for your time and willingness to share your views on rivalry.

B. David Tyler, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA

Joe Cobbs, Ph.D., Northern Kentucky University, USA

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