I look for evidence of reference-dependent preferences in the National Football League (NFL). Under reference-dependent preferences, sports fans should react more strongly to surprising wins and losses than expected wins or losses. I use Google Trends to look at the impact of NFL game outcomes on the use of positive or negative words on Google search. While search activity did respond to NFL games, I did not find that this response was sensitive to how surprising the outcome was, and so did not find evidence of reference-dependent preferences.
"Reference-Dependent Preferences Among NFL Fans: Evidence from Google Trends,"
Undergraduate Economic Review: Vol. 16
, Article 10.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/uer/vol16/iss1/10