Date of Award

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Sandra Short

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between superstition and confidence in sport. The Superstitious Rituals Questionnaire, a single-item confidence question, the confidence subscales from the Athletic Coping Skills Inventory- 28, Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2, Ottawa Mental Skills Assessment Tool-3, Trait Sport Confidence Inventory, and the New General Self-Efficacy Scale were used to measure superstitions and self-efficacy among the athletes. A convenience sample of current and former NCAA athletes (N = 109, n = 61 males, n = 48 females) were sent the link to the questionnaire on Qualtrics. Results showed that athletes used a mean of 13 superstitions. Superstitions from the Pre-game/Meet subscale were the most used, while superstitions from the Fetish subscale were the most effective. Three Pearson correlations among Team Rituals use subscale and confidence were negative and statistically significant. Correlations among superstition effectiveness and confidence were positive and significant for the Fetish (five), Clothing and Appearance (three), and Prayer (one) subscales. Gender differences were assessed by ANOVAs for confidence and superstition use and effectiveness. An ANOVA was also performed to test the differences between high and low confidence groups and superstition use and effectiveness. Overall, the NGSE was correlated the most with superstition use and effectiveness (significant for 5/14 correlations). Also, the Fetish subscale was the most effective and the most consistent correlation with the confidence measures (5/6). This study provides insight for future research in superstition and confidence. Also, this study allows sports psychologists to utilize lucky charms in their application of superstitions and pre-performance routines in sport.

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Psychology Commons

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