Superstitions of athletes

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jean Paratore (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Pearl Berlin

Abstract: Fifty-five collegiate athletes (31 males and 24 females), basketball and tennis players from teams at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, participated in this study which sought to describe athletes; superstitions. More specifically, the inquiry was concerned with (a) the extent of superstitiousness relative to knowledges, practices and beliefs, (b) sex differences in superstitiousness, (c) origins of superstitions, (d) athletes' perceived purposes of superstitions, (e) race differences in superstitiousness and (f) relationship between superstitiousness and need to achieve as measured by the Lynn Questionnaire. A revision of the Gregory form was used to gather data. Information was collected about Ss background, general superstitions and sport-related superstitions. Findings indicated that athletes who participated in this study affiliate, in varying degrees, with superstitious beliefs and behaviors. General superstitions most frequently acknowledged as "heard of" were black cats and rabbit's foot (52:55). Clothing items and wishing luck (25:55) yielded the highest frequencies for "practice", while a frequency of 9:55 was obtained indicating "belief in" superstitions associated with wishing luck. Findings related to sport superstitions revealed superstitions related to the procedure and positions for taking a free throw in basketball (16:55) as being the most frequently "heard of". The athletes "practiced" superstitions associated with bouncing a basketball before a free throw (8:55) most frequently, while a high frequency of 4:55 was obtained indicating "belief in" superstition related to bouncing a basketball before a free throw.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1974

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