Friday, June 24, 2022

Study Finds Reduced Involvement In Violent Crime For UFC Viewers

A new study has found that exposure to UFC events does not coincide with aggressive and criminal behavior.

According to a study published by the Journal of Health Economics specifically focusing on consumption of UFC content, watching the UFC does not result in a higher rate of crime from its viewers.

Relying on Nielsen ratings and arrest data from the FBI, researchers initially endeavored to see if there was any correlation between criminal activity and viewership of the UFC’s reality TV show The Ultimate Fighter. The show helped to establish the modern popularity of the UFC with its first season in 2005 and is currently in its 30th season.

The study first focused on crime statistics and TV viewership data from 2001 to 2016. The Ultimate Fighter didn’t debut until 2005, but checking earlier TV timeslot data allowed researchers to identify if the premier of the first season had any correlation with criminal activity.

The study examined viewership of the UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter, which is currently in its 30th season. (Zuffa LLC)

In addition to The Ultimate Fighter, the study looked at crime statistics from 2010 to 2016 in the context of viewing 91 different UFC fight cards during that period. Texas A&M professor Jason Lindo, one of the authors of the new study, identified the unpredictable scheduling of events throughout the year as being beneficial to the research process.

“The fact that these events are scheduled irregularly throughout the year is a distinct advantage that is critical to the empirical strategy that we used in this section, which compares how rates of crime change around the time of these events relative to the same times on otherwise-similar days.”

While the researchers acknowledged that their study is only a small sample of the larger body of “violent media content” that viewers can be exposed to, their findings were nonetheless encouraging.

“We find no evidence that consuming this sort of content increases involvement in crime. In fact, we find that it actually reduces involvement in violent crime, particularly assaults,” Lindo told psychology and neuroscience news website Psypost.

What’s your reaction to the results of this study examining UFC viewership and crime statistics?

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