Hello Dawg Sports,
I am a fan by association and came across this question while studying for the psychology board exam. I posed it to a friend of mine who is a UGA bulldog fan and he argued that the answer provided by the researchers is not correct. So, I was wondering how the rest of "y'all" would respond to the question and actual answer. I will post the answer sometime later. Thank You! :-)
The Correct Answer is "C"
The home advantage in team sports has generated various explanations; however, it has most consistently been linked to a supportive home audience. A highly referenced study examining the home advantage in team sports was conducted by Schwartz & Barsky in 1977. The Schwartz & Barsky (1977) investigation confirmed the actual existence of a home field advantage in organized sports. Analysis of the data, as well as more direct observations on audience size and its relationship to performance and outcome, justify the conclusion that the home advantage is almost totally independent of visitor fatigue and lack of familiarity with the home playing area; it is mainly attributable to the social support of the home audience. The results of the Courneya & Carron (1992) study also provides evidence that social support plays a critical role in the home advantage. These researchers found that with regard to the crowd factor, it is neither the size nor density of the crowd that alters home advantage. Instead, it is the attitude of the crowd and whether or not they support the team that makes the critical difference with respect to home advantage. (See: B. Schwartz and S. F. Barsky, The home advantage, Social Forces, 1977, 55, 641-661; and K. S. Courneya and A. V. Carron, The home advantage in sports competitions: A literature review, Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 1992, 14, 13-27.)