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M. Karen Ruder and Diane L. Gill

In two separate studies, members of 16 women's intramural volleyball teams (n = 94) and six women's intercollegiate volleyball teams (n = 68) completed pre-and postmatch questionnaires to determine the immediate effects of success-failure on perceptions of cohesion. A 2 × 2 (win-loss × pre-post) MANOVA on seven cohesion items yielded significant win-loss and pre-post main effects, and a significant win-loss by pre-post interaction for intramural teams. Univariate analyses indicated that winners increased and losers decreased in cohesion ratings from pre- to postmatch on three variables: level of teamwork, cohesion, and sense of belonging. Multivariate analyses yielded no significant effects for intercollegiate teams, although a univariate interaction similar to that in intramural teams was found for the cohesion variable. The results suggest that perceptions of cohesion are influenced by the immediate effects of win-loss.

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Diane L. Gill, M. Karen Ruder and John B. Gross

A total of 352 open-ended attributions were obtained in two field studies with volleyball teams and in two lab experiments, all involving team competition. All attributions were classified along the three causal dimensions of locus of causality, stability, and controllability. Attributions were also classified as referring to the self, to teammates, to the team as a whole, or to other factors and sorted into specific categories. A loglinear analysis revealed that attributions were predominantly internal, unstable, and controllable. A significant win/loss effect reflected the tendency for members of winning teams to use controllable, and particularly unstable, controllable, attributions more than members of losing teams. Overwhelmingly, attributions referred to the team as a whole rather than to individuals or other factors, and teamwork was an especially popular causal explanation. The findings suggest that research on attributions in team competition should focus on causal dimensions rather than the four traditional attributions of effort, ability, luck, and task difficulty, and that further attention should be given to team-referent causal explanations.