The Self-Other Divergence Effect for Doping Likelihood: Mediation by Guilt and Moderation by Moral Agency and Values

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 University of Birmingham
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Objectives: Self–other divergence refers to individuals judging themselves to be different from others. The authors investigated doping-related self-other divergence.Design: The authors used a quasi-experimental repeated-measures design to compare the effects of an independent variable (perspective: self, other) on doping likelihood and guilt. Method: Rugby players rated doping likelihood and guilt in situations describing two perspectives: self (their own behavior and feelings) and other (another player’s behavior and feelings). They also completed measures of moral agency, identity, perfectionism, and values (moral traits). Results: Doping likelihood was lower and guilt was higher for self-based ratings compared with other-based ratings. The self–other difference in doping likelihood was mediated by guilt and moderated by moral traits (larger for athletes with higher agency and values). Agency and values were more strongly related to self than other doping likelihood. Conclusions: Other-referenced measures differed from self-referenced measures of doping likelihood and guilt, indicating that it is wrong to presume equivalence of measurement.

The authors are with the University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom.

Ring (c.m.ring@bham.ac.uk) is corresponding author.

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