Last week we wondered whether sports fans and arts buffs were nonintersecting groups. I knew there were some exceptions to the idea that an arts snob wouldn’t set foot inside an athletic complex. For example, a friend of mine is an art history professor, but also such a big football fan that in his spare time he serves as an equipment manager (read “cleans soiled jockstraps”) for the Carolina Panthers. Despite exceptions like this, we wanted to know if on the whole the stereotype was true. There’s also a second possibility, one which was borne out by our results: perhaps some people like to go out, and others like to stay in; whether they attend a gallery opening or a football game is a less important difference than extraversion or introversion.
424 readers responded to our survey, indicating how often they attended/participated in both arts events and sporting events.
This first graph should give you a general sense of the results:
If you paid to visit a museum or listen to classical music in the past year, you were more likely to attend a sporting event than if you didn’t attend those arts events. You also likely watched less TV. There was a small but significant positive correlation (r=.13) between attending arts events and attending sporting events. For an even more dramatic difference, take a look at this graph:
As you can see, vigorous sports participation (team sports, running, and so on) is significantly higher for people who attend more than 5 arts events (museums, poetry readings, and so on) per year compared to those who don’t. The same is true for people attending more than 5 popular culture events, like rock concerts and Broadway musicals. And as you might expect, people who attend arts and cultural events also are more likely to participate in the arts.
There are tons more correlations to back up the premise that people are more readily divided into doers who participate in sports, go to arts events, and attend sporting events, and stay-at-homes who watch TV but don’t actively participate in arts or sports events as much. Here’s a sampling:
So it appears that the Greek ideal of a sound mind and a sound body lives on in many of our readers, who watch and participate in both the arts and sports, while others prefer to stay home.
Note: this will be the last Casual Friday until the fall. Greta and I, along with our kids will be spending the summer in Europe and won’t be able to update CogDaily as frequently as usual.
Don’t worry, though — you’ll be left in good hands. We have a summer intern, Aaron Couch, who’ll be handling the day-to-day operation of Cognitive Daily and offering some insight of his own. In addition, there will be new research articles all summer long, written by Greta’s top student writers and edited by me and Greta.
We’ll be here all next week, and Aaron will take the reins beginning Monday, June 4.