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Attributing to positive and negative sporting outcomes: a structural analysis

Davies, John B. and Ross, Alastair J. and Clarke, Peter (2004) Attributing to positive and negative sporting outcomes: a structural analysis. Athletic Insight, 6 (3). ISSN 1536-0431

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Abstract

Orthodox methodologies in sport-attribution research generally do not allow for variance in use of attribution per se to be investigated. Generally, attributions for pre- identified sporting outcomes are solicited from each athlete or research participant. Evidence is presented in this paper which shows a significant drop in attributions given for such events when specific prompts for explanation are removed. A qualitative methodology which allows athletes to 'freely' attribute to events of their own choosing is described. The method allows athletes to ascribe multiple causes to events (or multiple events to the same cause). Reliability data for coding texts in terms of explanatory function are provided. Results confirm previous evidence for an increased tendency to give explanations after negative outcomes, and are discussed in terms of the motivation of perceived control.