Influence Due to Expectations of Judges: A Function of Internal-External Locus of Control

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology

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John K. ScheerUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Charles J. AnsorgeUniversity of Nebraska-Lincoln

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Because gymnastics coaches typically rank-order their gymnasts from poorest to best, there is the natural expectation that scores should improve as the within-team order of competition progresses. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between the degree to which female judges were influenced by the within-team position of gymnasts and their internal-external locus of control. Female gymnasts competing in four Olympic events at the 1977 Region VI AIAW Championships were videotaped. Two separate sets of videotapes, edited from the original tapes, were judged 48 hours apart by 10 nationally and regionally certified female gymnastics judges selected from three regions of the United States. The two videotapes were so altered that scores were collected for 40 gymnasts, each of whom appeared once in the first position for her team and once in the fifth position. An ANOVA revealed that external locus of control judges scored gymnasts appearing in the fifth position significantly higher (p < .05) than when they appeared in the first position, but no such difference was found for the internals.

This study was funded by a grant from the Nissen Corporation, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The investigators wish to acknowledge the assistance in data collection provided by Jan Laub and James Howard, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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