Collective Emotions in Doubles Table Tennis

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 Department of Psychology, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, United Kingdom
  • | 2 School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, United Kingdom
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Researchers have shown that the emotions that athletes experience during sporting competition can be transferred between team members to create collective team emotional states. Nevertheless, collective emotions have not yet been investigated for sporting dyads. In this study, the emotional experiences of 68 doubles table tennis players (34 dyads) were examined at three time points: precompetition, in-competition, and postcompetition. It was found that the intensity of each emotional state differed as a function of match situation (positive/negative). Moreover, in-competition anxiety, dejection, and anger were shown to predict poorer subjective performance, and anxiety was shown to negatively impact future objective athlete performance. Most pertinently, within-dyad emotional aggregation was identified for athlete in-competition happiness and dejection and for postcompetition happiness, dejection, and anger. These findings represent the first quantitative evidence of emotional convergence in sport dyads and provide support for the social functional theory of emotion in sport.

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