“Say What?”

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Within daily life, sports fans often come across information that conflicts with their existing beliefs, a phenomenon known as cognitive dissonance. A vast proportion of the research on cognitive dissonance has examined its effects within a myriad of group settings (e.g., in cult groups, classrooms, and consumer situations). Although prior investigations have provided useful findings, extant research has been limited in the realm of sports, specifically within fan interactions. Thus, a review of the literature was conducted to reveal the state of previous research and describe the applications of fan behavior in distinct situations, particularly following comments by opposing sources (i.e., agents that pose threats to the individual fan). The current article presents the theoretical model, termed the Dissonance-Threat Model of Fan Behavior (DTMFB), to organize and amalgamate the theories and concepts of prior fan investigations with the literature on cognitive dissonance. Possible operationalizations and recommendations of variables to consider are discussed. Ultimately, directions for future research are provided.