Athletes’ Social Identities: Their Influence on Precompetitive Group-Based Emotions

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté (UBFC)
  • 2 University of California
  • 3 Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1
  • 4 Normandie Université
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This research studied the influence of multiple social identities on the emotions that athletes felt toward their teammates/partners and opponents. Athletes (N = 714) from individual and team-based sports reported their identification both as athletes of the sport and as athletes of their club before reporting their precompetitive emotions. The results showed that these multiple social identities influenced precompetitive emotions toward different targets, with higher levels of sport identification associated with increased positive and decreased negative emotions toward opponents and higher levels of club identification associated with increased positive and decreased negative emotions toward teammates/partners, although increased club identification was also associated with more positive emotions toward opponents. These findings extend intergroup emotions theory by showing its suitability and applicability to face-to-face task-oriented teams in sport. Particularly, they highlight the importance of investigating the simultaneous level of multiple social identities, rather than only a dichotomic self-categorization, on group-based emotions experienced toward multiple targets.

Campo, Lacassagne, and Pellet are with Laboratoire Psy-DREPI (EA7458), Faculty of Sport Sciences, Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté (UBFC), Dijon, France. Mackie is with Psychological & Brain Sciences, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA. Champely is with L-VIS (EA7428), Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Lyon, France. Louvet is with CETAPS (EA3832), Normandie Université, Rouen, France.

Campo (mickael.campo@u-bourgogne.fr) is corresponding author.
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