Tuesday, May 12, 2009

There is no "I" in team, but there may be sex

Female Mate Choice is Influenced by Male Sport Participation

Albrecht Schulte-Hostedde, Mark Eys & Krista Johnson
Evolutionary Psychology, Winter 2008, Pages 113-124

Sexual selection theory argues that females invest more heavily in reproduction than males and thus tend to be choosier in terms of matechoice. Sport may provide a context within which females can gain information about male quality to inform this choice. Males may be able to display attractive traits such as athleticism, strength, and physique to females while participating in sport. We predicted that females would favor males that participated in team sports over individual sports and non-athletes because team sport athletes may be more likely to display qualities such as the ability to work well with others and role acceptance. We used a questionnaire, a photograph, and manipulated descriptions to gauge the effects of sport involvement, attractiveness, and status on 282 females' willingness to participate in various types of relationships. Team sport athletes were perceived as being more desirable as potential mates than individual sport athletes and non-athletes. It is suggested that team sport athletes may have traits associated with good parenting such as cooperation, likeability, and role acceptance, and/or these athletes may be better able to assert dominance in a team setting. Results are discussed in terms of further implications and future research.


Alleviating Choking: The Sounds of Distraction

Christopher Mesagno, Daryl Marchant & Tony Morris
Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, April 2009, Pages 131-147

"Choking" is defined as a critical deterioration in the execution of habitual processes as a result of an elevation in anxiety levels under perceived pressure, leading to substandard performance. In the current study, music was used in a "dual-task" paradigm to facilitate performance under pressure. Three "choking-susceptible" experienced female basketball players were purposively sampled from 41 screened players. Participants completed 240 basketball free throws in a single-case A1-B1-A2-B2 design (A phases = "low-pressure" and B phases = "high-pressure"), with the music intervention occurring during the B2 phase. Following completion of the phases, an interview was conducted to examine perceptions of choking and cognitions associated with the effects of the music lyrics. Participants improved performance in the B2 phase, and explained that choking resulted from an increase in public self-awareness (S-A). The music intervention decreased S-A, and enabled participants to minimize explicit monitoring of execution and reduce general distractibility.


When Superstars Flop: Public Status and Choking Under Pressure in
International Soccer Penalty Shootouts

Geir Jordet
Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, April 2009, Pages 125-130

The purpose of this study was to examine links between public status and performance in a real-world, high-pressure sport task. It was believed that high public status could negatively affect performance through added performance pressure. Video analyses were conducted of all penalty shootouts ever held in three major soccer tournaments (n = 366 kicks) and public status was derived from prestigious international awards (e.g., "FIFA World Player of the year"). The results showed that players with high current status performed worse and seemed to engage more in certain escapist self-regulatory behaviors than players with future status. Some of these performance drops may be accounted for by misdirected self-regulation (particularly low response time), but only small multivariate effects were found.


'If the Team Doesn't Win, Nobody Wins:' A Team-Level Analysis of Pay and
Performance Relationships in Major League Baseball

Nicholas Miceli & Alan Huber
Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, April 2009

This analysis of team-level major league baseball performance, for the 1985 through 2001 seasons, addresses four questions: (1) 'Is there a relationship between winning and performance?' (2) 'Is there a relationship between pay and performance?' (3) 'Is there a relationship between winning and pay?' and (4) 'Is there interaction between batting and pitching?' The findings are that: (1) the relationship between performance and winning is significant. Pitching explains 2/3 of the variance, with batting covering the other 1/3; (2) the pay and performance relationship is significant, but the practical importance of the relationships is low, because non-performance factors exert stronger influence on pay levels; (3) the pay and winning relationship is significant, but becomes non-significant when performance variables are used to predict winning; and (4) the batting and pitching interaction is significant, but weak, with limited effects. This type of analysis should help teams be managed more effectively than may presently be the case.


Anonymous said...

So jocks get laid--who'd thunk it?

br said...

There may be another factor at play in #1. In team sports, the athletes are often subject to constant coaching, while in individual sports there tends to be no game-time coaching. Women seem to want men who will just run the play without trying to make their own decisions.