Passion in Referees: Examining Their Affective and Cognitive Experiences in Sport Situations

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology

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Frederick L. PhilippeMcGill University

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Robert J. VallerandUniversité du Québec à Montréal

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Joéline AndrianarisoaUniversité de Limoges

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Philippe BrunelUniversité de Limoges

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The present research examined in two studies the role of passion for refereeing in referees' affective and cognitive functioning during games. In line with past research on the dualistic model of passion (Vallerand et al., 2003), Study 1 (n1 = 90 and n2 = 148) revealed that harmonious passion (HP) for refereeing was positively associated with positive emotions and the experience of flow during games. Conversely, obsessive passion (OP) for refereeing was unrelated to positive emotions and flow, but was positively associated with negative emotional experiences during games. Study 2 (n = 227) examined referees' affective and cognitive functioning after having committed an important mistake. Results showed that HP was negatively associated with maladaptive affective and cognitive functioning after a bad call, whereas OP was positively associated with such maladaptive functioning, including subsequent poor decision making. In addition, in both studies, most referees reported to be passionate toward refereeing. Finally, results from both studies remained the same after controlling for referees' gender, age, years of experience, and types of sports.

Philippe is with the Human Motivation Laboratory, Department of Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada; Vallerand is with the Laboratoire de Recherche sur le Comportement Social, Département de Psychologie, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada; and Andrianarisoa and Brunel are with the Laboratoire d'Études sur le Savoir, la Cognition et les Rapports Sociaux, Université de Limoges, France.

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