Packers fans are passionate about their team, but how do the highs and lows of a football season impact them? St. Norbert College Assistant Professor of Psychology Michelle Schoenleber set out to answer that question.
During last year's NFL season, she conducted a study of 156 packers fans in 23 different states. They answered a series of questions geared toward learning more about how green and gold fans compare to the general population. She first examined their personality traits, and one thing stood out.
"In particular, most of the differences are in younger packers fans 18 to 29. Those Packers fans are less open. They're a little more conventional. They kind of like what they like, but they tend to be more agreeable, so they're more sympathetic. They're more kind. They're more trusting with other individuals," Schoenleber explains.
She also analyzed game time reactions and how wins and losses affected Packers fans.
"Losses were really where more of the action was. We kind of take a hit as Packers fans. We started feeling a little bit angry, little bit sad."
When it comes to moving on after getting beat in a game, Schoenleber says overall, Green Bay fans handle it well.
"Almost across the board, across those age groups, Packers fans were less neurotic than the average American in the adult population, so they're saying that they don't experience as many negative emotions. They handle negative emotions more effectively, and they're just able to cope better."
58% of those studied say they have superstitions and perform the same ritual on game days, such as wearing certain clothing or sitting in the same spot to watch the action.
Schoenleber is conducting another study this year. It will dig deeper into how long people feel blue after a Packers loss, and how it affects their productivity at work. It'll also take a closer look at how important fan traditions are when it comes to games.