Volume 46 - n. 5 - September-October 2015


Moral foundations, dilemmas, and disengagement in sport: insights from disparate cultures

Shea M. Balish * and Jeff Caron **

(*) Dalhousie University, Canada
(**) McGill University, Canada

BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to test, within two culturally disparate samples, whether individualizing and binding foundations (i.e., intuitive preferences for individualistic or group-based moral concerns) predict responses to common moral dilemmas in sport, as well as moral disengagement. METHODS: Current and former athletes from individualistic (n=171) and collectivistic (n=245) countries completed a digital survey. Bias corrected and accelerated bootstrap analyses tested mediation effects. RESULTS: We demonstrated that moral foundations predict responses to moral dilemmas and in turn, moral disengagement. Individualizing foundations were negatively associated with moral disengagement while binding foundations were positively associated. Participants from collectivistic countries scored higher on binding foundations and moral disengagement, but not on individualizing foundations. CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that moral disengagement in sport may measure, in part, a propensity to value binding foundations over individualizing foundations, which in some cultures may be seen as moral, rather than immoral. In sum, it may be useful to descriptively understand sporting morality across the world before assuming a normative theory of morality in sport.

Keywords: Cross cultural, Mediation, Moral diversity, Moral Psychology



The mediating role of critical thinking on motivation and peer interaction for motor skill performance

Chien-Chih Chou *, Mei-Yao Huang **, Chung-Ju Huang ***, Frank J. H. Lu **** and Hsin-Yu Tu *****

(*) Graduate Institute of Sport, University of Taipei, Taiwan
(**) Department of Sport Promotion, National Taiwan Sport University, Taiwan
(***) Graduate Institute of Sport Pedagogy, University of Taipei, Taiwan
(****) Department of Physical Education, Chinese Culture University, Taiwan
(*****) Department of Physical Education, National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan

PURPOSE: Based on the theory of cognitive and motor development, this study examined the mediating role of critical thinking in relation to peer interaction, learning motivation, and motor skill performance. METHODS: Fifth- and sixth- grade students from 23 elementary schools completed measures regarding critical thinking, learning motivation, and peer interaction, and motor skill tests. RESULTS: The findings showed that positive peer relationships and learners’ motivation exhibited facilitative impacts on critical thinking skills, whereas negative peer relationships yielded a debilitating influence. Moreover, critical thinking was found to be a mediating factor among the relationships of learning motivation, peer interaction, and motor Skill Performance. CONCLUSION: The findings suggest that physical education teachers should create a supportive learning environment and emphasize positive peer interactions to increase learners’ motivation and critical thinking skills, which in turn can improve students’ motor skill performance.

Keywords: Cognitive Thinking, Learner-learner relationships, Physical education



Track and field athletes’ experiences and perceived effects of flotation-REST. An interpretative phenomenological analysis

Ellinor Klockare *, Henrik Gustafsson *, Paul Davis ** and Carolina Lundqvist ***

(*) Faculty of Health, Science and Technology, Karlstad University, Sweden
(**) Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Northumbria University, UK
(***) The Research Unit for Movement, Health and Environment, The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, Sweden

Research has highlighted flotation-REST as a promising method for relaxation and performance enhancement in sport; however, to further evaluate the use of flotation-REST in an athletic environment, additional research is warranted. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six elite track and field athletes about their experiences and perceived effects of flotation-REST. Athletes were interviewed twice; once for their immediate response and again to explore their perceptions of flotation-REST over time. The data was analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Flotation-REST was perceived as pleasant and relaxing. Five athletes reported less stress and an overall increase in well-being for one or two days afterwards, although they felt physically tired during training sessions. Being in a better mood, placing fewer demands on themselves, and feeling more optimistic and present were also perceived effects. This study shows the potential of flotation-REST as a technique for health promotion, stress management, and a means to practise mindfulness.

Keywords: Health promotion, Relaxation, Sport psychology, Stress management



A comparison of illusory superiority in elite and county UK soccer referees

Melissa Fothergill */** and Sandy Wolfson */***

(*) Northumbria University,Faculty of Health and Life Sciences,Newcastle upon Tyne,UK
(**) Department of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
(***) Department of Psychology

Soccer referees are regularly the object of intense scrutiny and criticism by players, coaches, fans and the media. The extent to which they characterise themselves positively despite negative feedback was examined in a study where elite (N=11) and county (N=183) soccer referees compared themselves with other referees officiating at their level. Participants completed a questionnaire containing items pertaining to their positive and negative characteristics. Both elite and county referees, irrespective of their level, regarded themselves as superior to other referees. Compared with county referees, elite referees were particularly likely to rate themselves favourably on negative characteristics and susceptibility to influence, but not on positive qualities. These results provide a novel insight into referees’ perceptions of themselves and their fellow referees and suggest that self-aggrandizement may be a functional cognitive illusion that can help maintain confidence and resilience in the face of threats to their expertise.

Keywords: Cognitive illusions Referees, Self-aggrandizement, Soccer



Previous game success as a determinant of future game performance and outcomes in men’s NCAA basketball

Daniel C. Clay and Aniseh S. Bro

Michigan State University, USA

This research examines the motivational effects of past team success (or failure) as a determinant of future game performance. Analyses draw on a data base of 4,495 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball games and detailed player performances over multiple seasons. Findings show that winning percentages are strongly influenced by team success or failure in the previous game-success begets failure and failure begets success, and the effects are exacerbated by the extent of the win or loss. Contributing to the differential winning percentages among teams that either won or lost their previous games are several key basketball performance variables (shooting percentages, rebounding, turnovers, etc.) as they are reflected in both offensive and defensive efficiency ratings.

Keywords: Basketball, Confidence, Efficiency Ratings, Failure, Motivation, NCAA, Outcomes success, Performance



Effects of time on memorization of soccer scenes. Presentation formats and expertise reversal effect

Bachir Zoudji */**, Aïmen Khacharem * and Ruth Porter ***

(*) UVHC, DeVisu, Valenciennes, France
(**) University Lille Nord de France, Lille, France
(***) University Lille 2- ILIS Lille, France

This study investigated the effects of experience and presentation format on memorization processes in 24 experienced and 24 beginner soccer players, using a 2 × 3 factorial design ‘Expertise’ (Beginner vs. Experienced player) and ‘Presentation Format’ (Static, Dynamic, Combined). Factors were tested at 3 moments (immediate test, study phase and delayed recall accuracy) by asking the subjects to reproduce the positions of players relative to the ball and to each other. The main results confirmed expertise reversal effect for the immediate test and study phase. However the expertise reversal effect disappeared in the delayed recall accuracy test in the dynamic and static formats.

Keywords: Expertise reversal effect, Presentation format, Soccer, Time delay