The purpose of this study was to elucidate the structure of cognitive capability in sports spectating.
First, a hypothesis construct of cognitive capability in sports spectating was made based on a review of the literature and semi-structured interviews with sports journalists. There were three generic concepts in the construct: intellectuality, sensitivity, and value judgements. Intellectuality comprised five specific concepts: understanding, analysis, evaluation, prediction, and focus. Sensitivity comprised two specific concepts: sympathy and aesthetic intuition. Values comprised one concept: fair play.
We then developed a measure of cognitive capability in sports spectating.
Second, 119 question items for a pilot investigation were formed based on interviews with two sports writers and 16 books about sports spectating. The investigation subjects were student athletes. Through factor analysis of data on the survey, we selected 82 question items from the 119.
Third, for the main investigation, we collected data from J-League spectators. Through exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, we developed 21 items to form a scale of cognitive capability in sports spectating. Moreover, through confirming the consistency of the hypothesis construct, we elucidated six factors on the structure of cognitive capability in sports spectating. These factors were: Intellectual capability about individual play, Intellectual capability about team play, Sympathy toward the feelings of players, Sympathy toward the physical sensations of players, Aesthetic intuition about beautiful play, and Fair play.
Comparing these factors with the levels on the construct, Intellectual capability about individual play and Intellectual capability about team play come into Intellectual level of the construct. Sympathy toward the feelings of players and Sympathy toward the physical sensations of players come into Sympathy in Sensitivity level, and Aesthetic intuition about beautiful play come just into Aesthetic intuition on the construct. Fair play comes into Value judgement level on the construct.
These cognitions seemed to relate to spectating knowledge. The spectator individually forms meaning through use of these cognitions together with spectating knowledge.