Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Brendan Dwyer

Second Advisor

Dr. Greg Greenhalgh

Third Advisor

Dr. Henry Clark

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Wayne Slough


The use of nostalgia has become a feature in baseball ballparks in recent years, with research showcasing the prevalence of nostalgic stimuli including bricks, steel beams, and old-fashioned scoreboards popular in the past. The impact of such stimuli on spectators’ emotions and behavior had yet to be explored, though. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to investigate the impact of nostalgia on minor league baseball spectator emotional and behavioral responses.

Data collection occurred at three minor league baseball games during June 2017. Utilizing the SOR framework (Mehrabian & Russell, 1974) as the theoretical foundation, a 39-item instrument was constructed by adapting items from previously-constructed surveys in the contexts of sport and general consumer behavior. Using systematic random sampling, a total of 232 completed and usable surveys were collected.

To investigate the impact of nostalgia on spectators’ emotional responses, structural equation modeling was utilized. The study sought to specifically examine whether nostalgia evoked through spectators’ senses (sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch) and social interaction impacted their pleasure. Results showed that only social interaction was a significant positive predictor of pleasure, with sight a significant negative predictor of pleasure. A significant, positive relationship between pleasure and spectator’s behavioral intentions was also found. Finally, the study explored whether spectators’ arousal moderated the relationship between pleasure and arousal. The results displayed that arousal did not significantly moderate this relationship, with pleasure and arousal maintaining a strong correlation. Results and implications of the study are discussed, with suggestions for future research provided.


© Mark A. Slavich

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Date of Submission