The Psychological Benefits of Superstitious Rituals in Top Sport
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.
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