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Sport Psychology

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Sport Psychology(psy407)
VU
Lesson 35
AUDIENCE AND CROWD EFFECTS IN SPORTS
Audience participation is a powerful on athletic performance. Perhaps no social-psychological effect is more
important to athletic performance and outcome than the audience, or spectators, effect. While many
variables may help create the home court or home field advantage, none seem to be as important as the
presence of a supportive audience. Determining how and why an audience presence affects athletic
performance is the focus of this section. Topics to be discussed include:
1.
Social facilitation
2.
Effect of an interactive audience on performance
3.
Audience characteristics(size, intimacy, density, and hostility)
4.
Team quality
5.
Players' perceptions.
Social Facilitation
Social facilitation research is based on the notion that the presence of an audience of one or more
spectators can facilitate performance. This is an appealing concept, since almost everyone has experienced
the desire to perform better when friends, family, or members of the opposite gender are watching.
Research in the area of social facilitation was significantly influenced by the work of Robert Zajonc
(pronounced "science"). Zajonc's classical paper on the topic remains the single most critical factor in the
development of social facilitation as a field of inquiry. (Zajonc, 1965). Zajonc proposed that the presence of
an audience has the effect of increasing (drive) in performing subjects. Since increased arousal facilitates the
elicitation of the dominant response, the presence of an audience will enhance the performance of a skilled
individual while causing a decrement in the performance of an unskilled individual. This concept is
illustrated below.
For highly skilled athletes:
performance facilitation
Crowd influence (increased Arousal)
leads to
For less skilled athletes:
leads to
performance decrement
Crowd influence (increased Arousal)
Effects Of An Interactive Audience On Performance
Perhaps the most interesting topic associated with the interactive audience is that of the home advantage.
The fact that the home advantage exists in such team sports as basketball, baseball, football, ice hockey, and
soccer is well documented (Bray, 1999). We will focus upon the most viable explanation for the home court
advantage: the presence of a supportive and interactive audience.
Why is there a Home Court Advantage?
The most plausible explanation for the home advantage in sport is the presence of a supportive and
interactive audience. The presence of a supportive and emotionally arousing crowd translates into a home
court advantage in many situations. Some researches suggest that the advantage favoring the home team is
due not to increased performance caused by a supportive audience, but to inferior performance on the part
of the visiting team--sort of an away court disadvantage.
© Copyright Virtual University of Pakistan
104
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Sport Psychology(psy407)
VU
When is the Home Court/Field a Disadvantage?
Is playing at home always an advantage, or can it sometimes be a disadvantage? For a number of reasons,
playing at home can be a home disadvantage. One reason might be that the fans expect you to win at
home; this can result in additional pressure to play well. A second reason might be that playing before a very
vocal and supportive audience can raise arousal to a level that results in a decrement of performance. The
presence of a supportive audience may have the effect of increasing the cost of not winning when you are
expected to. The athlete or the athletes begin to "press," which interferes with the execution of skillful play.
Audience Characteristics
Having determined that a home advantage usually exists in sport and that this advantage is related to the
presence of a supportive and interactive audience, we should now examine characteristics of the audience.
Crowd Size, Intimacy, and Density
There is evidence in professional baseball that crowd size makes a difference. Factors such as audience
density and audience intimacy may be more important than size for creating the home court advantage.
Crowd Hostility
It is generally understood that a supportive and friendly crowd will help the home team. What is the effect,
however, of a seemingly hostile crowd on player performance? Research by Greer (1983) demonstrated that
sustained hostile spectator protests have a clearly negative impact on the visiting team.
Home Court Advantage And Team Quality
From the previous discussions we understand that the home team usually enjoys a home court or field
advantage. Factors that contributed most to the home team advantage, after controlling for team quality,
were crowd density, rebounds, steals, and field goal shooting percentage. Winning at home occurs more
often for high-quality teams than for low-quality teams.
Players' Perceptions of Home Court Advantage
When asked about their perceptions of the home court advantage, athlete indicated that they believed there
was a home court advantage. They further indicated that they felt that home court familiarity and crowd
support were the primary factors determining the home court advantage. Finally, athletes believed that they
were more self-confidence when they played at home than when they played away.
References
Cox, H. Richard. (2002). Sport Psychology: Concepts and Applications. (Fifth Edition). New York:
McGraw-Hill Companies
Lavallec. D., Kremer, J., Moran, A., & Williams. M. (2004) Sports Psychology: Contemporary Themes. New
York: Palgrave Macmillan Publishers
© Copyright Virtual University of Pakistan
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Table of Contents:
  1. SPORT PSYCHOLOGY DEFINED:Issue of Certification, The Research Sport Psychologist
  2. SELF-CONFIDENCE AND SPORT PSYCHOLOGY:Successful Performance, Verbal persuasion
  3. SELECTING SELF-TALK STATEMENTS:Skill accusation, Controlling effort
  4. GOAL ORIENTATION:Goal Involvement, Motivational Climate
  5. CAUSAL ATTRIBUTION IN SPORT:Fritz Heiderís Contribution, Other Considerations
  6. CAUSAL ATTRIBUTIONS IN COMPETITIVE SITUATIONS:Locus of Causality
  7. MOTIVATION IN SPORT:Social Factors, Success and Failure, Coachesí Behavior
  8. FLOW: THE PSYCHOLOGY OF OPTIMAL EXPERIENCE, Goal Setting in Sport
  9. PRINCIPLES OF EFFECTIVE GOAL SETTING:Clearly identify time constraints
  10. A TEAM APPROACH TO SETTING GOALS:The Planning Phase, The Meeting Phase
  11. YOUTH SPORT:Distress and anxiety, Coach-Parent Relationships
  12. ATTENTION AND CONCENTRATION IN SPORT:Information Processing, Memory Systems
  13. ATTENTION AND CONCENTRATION IN SPORT:Measuring Attentional Focus
  14. PERSONALITY AND THE ATHLETE:Personality Defined, Psychodynamic Theory
  15. THE MEASUREMENT OF PERSONALITY:Projective Procedures, Structured Questionnaire
  16. PERSONALITY AND THE ATHLETE:Athletic Motivation Inventory, Personality Sport Type
  17. SITUATIONAL FACTORS RELATED TO ANXIETY AND MOOD:Type of Sport
  18. ANXIETY, AROUSAL, AND STRESS RELATIONSHIPS:Emotion and Mood
  19. ANXIETY, AROUSAL, AND STRESS RELATIONSHIPS:The Inverted-U Theory
  20. ALTERNATIVES TO INVERTED-U THEORY:Apterís Reversal Theory
  21. COPING STRATEGIES IN SPORT:Measurement of Coping Skill
  22. RELAXATION STRATEGIES FOR SPORT:Progressive Relaxation, Autogenic Training
  23. AROUSAL ENERGIZING STRATEGIES:Team Energizing Strategies, Fan Support
  24. AROUSAL ENERGIZING STRATEGIES:Precompetition Workout, Individual Goal Setting
  25. IMAGERY:Skill Level of the Athletes, Time Factors and Mental Practice
  26. IMAGERY:Symbolic Learning Theory, Imagery Perspective. Sensory Mode
  27. IMAGERY:Paivioís Two-Dimensional Model, Developing Imagery Skills
  28. THE ROLE OF HYPNOSIS IN SPORT:Defining Hypnosis, Social-Cognitive Theory
  29. THE ROLE OF HYPNOSIS IN SPORT:Achieving the Hypnotic Trance, Hypnotic Phase
  30. PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILLS TRAINING:Psychological Skills Training Program
  31. PSYCHOLOGICAL SKILLS TRAINING:Performance profiling, Performance routines
  32. ETHICS IN SPORT PSYCHOLOGY:Competence, Integrity, Social Responsibility
  33. AGGRESSION AND VIOLENCE IN SPORT:Defining Aggression, Catharsis hypothesis
  34. AGGRESSION AND VIOLENCE IN SPORT:The Catharsis Effect, Fan Violence
  35. AUDIENCE AND CROWD EFFECTS IN SPORTS:Social Facilitation, Crowd Hostility
  36. TEAM COHESION IN SPORT:Measurement of Team Cohesion
  37. TEAM COHESION IN SPORT:Predicting Future Participation, Team Building
  38. LEADERSHIP IN SPORT:Fiedlerís Contingency Theory, Coach-Athlete Compatibility
  39. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:Special Populations, Clinical Patients
  40. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:Social Interaction Hypothesis, Amine Hypothesis
  41. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:The Theory of Planned Behavior, Social Cognitive Theory
  42. EXERCISE PSYCHOLOGY:Exercise Addiction, Bulimia Nervosa, Muscle Dysmorphia
  43. BURNOUT IN ATHLETES:Overtraining and Overreaching, Recommended Intervention
  44. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ATHLETIC INJURIES:Personality Factors, Coping Resources
  45. DRUG ABUSE IN SPORT AND EXERCISE:Stimulants, Depressants