Superstitious Rituals Among College Athletes: A Pilot Study
Pierre Luc Veillette, H.Russell Searight

Superstitions and accompanying rituals are common among athletes and appear to provide an experience of control over performance. Despite anecdotal information suggesting a high prevalence of superstitious practices among athletes, empirical study has been limited. Even less is known about the variables that may influence the adoption of superstition-related rituals, including the type of sport—individual vs. team, athlete gender, and relevant personality dimensions. In the current study, 39 university athletes completed a questionnaire of superstitious rituals in athletes, a questionnaire assessing common superstitions in the general population, and Rotter's Locus of Control Scale. Results indicated that athletically oriented superstitions and practices were reported by over 90% of the sample (N=39). Rituals were most commonly used in immediate pregame preparation. While female athletes reported more superstitions common to the general population, they did not differ from men regarding athletic-specific superstitious rituals. In addition, locus of control did not differ between athletes involved in team versus individual sports. Further research in this area should begin with the development of a psychometrically sound questionnaire.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jpbs.v9n2a3