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The Psychological Benefits of Superstitious Rituals in Top Sport

Michaéla Schippers and Paul van Lange

ERIM Report Series Research in Management from Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam

Abstract: The current research addresses the psychological benefits of superstitious rituals in top sport, examining the circumstances under which top-class sportsmen are especially committed to enacting rituals prior to a game (ritual commitment). Consistent with hypotheses, findings revealed that ritual commitment is greater when (a) uncertainty is high rather than low, and (b) the importance of the game is high rather than low. Complementary analyses revealed that the state of psychological tension mediated both the effect of importance and uncertainty on ritual commitment. Moreover, players with an external locus of control exhibited greater levels of ritual commitment than players with an internal locus of control. The results are discussed in terms of the tension-regulation function of superstitious rituals in top sport.

Keywords: Locus of Control; Psychological Tension; Ritual Commitment; Superstition; Top Sport (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L2 L83 M M10 M12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2005-11-29
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ems:eureri:7118

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