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The primary purpose of this research was to examine the influence of different normative (descriptive, injunctive) messages on individual self-reported effort in sport. Adult recreational volleyball athletes (n = 58) reported their self-perceived effort, were randomly assigned through their team designation to one of three conditions (descriptive norm, injunctive norm, control) and then received multiple e-mail messages specific to their condition motivating them to work hard. Participants reported their self-perceived effort a second time after receipt of these messages. The results from a one-way ANCOVA, controlling for initial perceived effort, revealed that those in the normative conditions reported greater perceived effort than those in the control condition. Preliminary evidence is provided suggesting that individual self-reported effort may be significantly impacted by the perception of what others are doing and what others approve of within that environment (i.e., normative information).
The authors are with the Dept. of Kinesiology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.