Via Cognitive Daily, an interesting report on the possibility that testosterone and the desire to “defend the home turf” give home teams an advantage. The study was conducted in England, so they tested players in the Premiership. The results are impressive:
Neave and Wolfson tested 17 members of an English club team before home and away games. Each player provided saliva samples and filled out a simple emotion questionnaire. Among the 10 players who took the field during both games, testosterone levels in the saliva were significantly higher before the home game (9.93 ng/dl) than the away game (5.79 ng/dl). There were no significant differences in any of the self-reported emotions, ranging from calmness to enthusiasm.
Also, there’s a nice graph:
I don’t think anyone will forward the interpretation that this is the only factor at play in home field advantage, but the results are fascinating.