The origins of existentialism are as nebulous as the theory itself, which, unlike most theories of personality, is not a uniform philosophy of human behavior (Rychlak, 1981). Perhaps fittingly, some of the forefathers of this movement have themselves resisted being labeled existentialists. Indeed, the movement in general arose as a reaction to other schools of psychology that fell “into the common error of distorting human beings in the very effort of trying to help them (May & Yalom, 1989, p.363).” Difficulties notwithstanding, I will attempt to give a brief illustration of the history of existentialism, as well as a basic outline of its application to personality theory. This outline will serve as a conceptual framework whereby elements of baseball fan participation can be examined in light of their relevance to existential psychological theory.
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