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There are different reasons behind watching sports: university professor

Jim Davies, a professor of the department of cognitive science at Carleton University said humans are the only species that can learn by watching.
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Jimmy Conover/Unsplash

There's a reason why we're attracted to major sporting events, including the World Cup. 

Jim Davies, a professor of the department of cognitive science at Carleton University said humans are the only species that can learn by watching and he tells The Sam Laprade Show on Nov. 23 that when we're watching a sport, we're also learning how to play it as well. 

"I think that a big reason that we watch sports is because we feel like we're learning how to do important things," he said, adding that many sports 
are related to valuable aspects of our ancestors such as running and jumping. "We're learning how to do things really well by watching."

It was around 2014 that he decided to do a deep dive into why people are attracted to sports as an entity. Another reason, he said, that we are attracted to sporting events, is the personal connection to our home team. He explained that when we're cheering on our home, like Team Canada, for example, it makes us feel like we're a part of a team.

"I think that people get really attached also because they see sports as a symbolic competition where someone might be representing (you), that sort of thing."

He also points to the aspect of competition that makes us want to watch sports, which he said makes us interested in the outcome of the results, especially if it's our home team. Davies also notes that there is a difference when it comes to different types of sports. He explained that women may be more attracted to individual sports, whereas men are more likely to watch team sports. 

You can listen to the full interview with Jim Davies below: 

 

 

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