The influence of personal and sporting values on the likelihood of athletes doping and competing clean

Mortimer, Hannah Grace (2020). The influence of personal and sporting values on the likelihood of athletes doping and competing clean. University of Birmingham. M.Sc.

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A value is a trans-situational motivational goal, presumed to be desirable and considerably stable, affecting unethical behaviours and emotions. Changing values is a central goal of societies in order to instigate behaviour change, however value change is yet to be examined in a doping-specific context.

Objectives: The purpose of this research was to investigate the value-doping relationships amongst athletes and to examine whether or not it is possible to manipulate values in relation to doping.

Designs: The research used cross-sectional (Study 1) and experimental designs (Study 2).

Method: In Study 1, 233 athletes completed a questionnaire which assessed demographics, doping and clean likelihood in hypothetical situations, personal, sporting and the spirit of sport values. In Study 2, 162 undergraduate athletes (51% male, 49% female) participated in a persuasive writing intervention across three different value conditions to see if the task could improve the salience athletes gave to specific values, in turn affecting doping likelihood, clean likelihood and anticipated guilt ratings.

Results: In Study 1, correlational analysis revealed that self-enhancement values were positively associated with doping likelihood and negatively associated with clean likelihood whilst self-transcendence values were negatively associated with doping likelihood and positively associated with clean likelihood. Conservation values followed the same relationships as self-transcendence values with the doping variables. The findings showed that there was no relationship between the spirit of sport values and doping likelihood despite anti-doping legislation currently using the concept as the universal ethical basis for global sporting practice (WADA, 2015).

In Study 2, the self-enhancement writing manipulation was successful in enhancing self-enhancement values, whilst decreasing self-transcendence values, whilst the conservation manipulation only increased self-transcendence values. The results also showed that the writing manipulations were not powerful enough to influence the doping outcome variables.

Conclusions: The findings provide evidence for the value-doping relationships regarding both doping likelihood and clean likelihood but suggest that the place of the spirit of sport in the current anti-doping procedures may somewhat be flawed and should be reconsidered. The research also provides evidence that it is somewhat possible to change some specific values in relation to sport through persuasive writing tasks, however, the extent to which this can be implemented as a value change anti-doping strategy needs more research and is uncertain.

Type of Work: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Sc.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Sc.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology


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