Beyond Economic Impact: The Psychic Income Received by the Chapel Hill Community from Carolina Athletics Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 20, 2019
  • Zagorin, Lea
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Exercise and Sport Science
  • Social and emotional benefits have often been cited as reasons for a community to invest in a college athletics program, despite there being little data to support or refute these assumptions. Athletics administrators often cite these social and emotional benefits (in addition to economic impact) as key justifications of public subsidy of collegiate athletics. In light of today's rapid commercialization of college athletics and heavy media scrutiny, an intense pressure on student-athletes and coaches to win and skyrocketing coaching salaries, it is important to gather data on the social, emotional and psychological impacts (psychic income) of collegiate athletics on the community that supports it. The purpose of this study is to measure the psychic income residents of Chapel Hill, North Carolina receive from the university athletics department. Psychic income is the emotional and psychological benefit that residents perceive they receive from a local sports team or event, even though they may not physically attend sports events, and are not involved in organizing them. A modified scale of the Kim and Walker (2012) psychic income survey was used to evaluate psychic income received by Chapel Hill residents. Results demonstrated Chapel Hill residents receive an overall positive psychic income from Carolina athletics. This study fills an important gap in the literature relative to the measurement of non-economic benefits intercollegiate athletics can provide a college community. Results also provide helpful insight to athletics administrators about the perceptions community members hold of their athletic department.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Popp, Nels
  • Sawyer, Korie
  • Weight, Erianne
  • Master of Arts
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2017

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