Implicit Motives of Elite Athletes, Sport Students, and Non-Sport Students: Power, Affiliation, and Achievement

Wegner, Mirko; Sieber, Vanda; Schüler, Julia (2014). Implicit Motives of Elite Athletes, Sport Students, and Non-Sport Students: Power, Affiliation, and Achievement. In: Morisson, Ronald (ed.) Motivation: Psychology, Strategies and Impact on Performance (pp. 109-124). New York: NOVA

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Research on performance and participation in (elite) sports has predominantly focused on variables relating to the achievement motive. However, some authors describe that athletes in interactive sports (e.g. tennis) are assumed to exhibit a strong power motive in order to win competitive matches, usually resulting in the demonstration of dominance or the experience of inferiority. The affiliation motive, by contrast, is not functional in elite sports due to their competitive rather than social character. In the present chapter we discuss how the three basic implicit motives of power, affiliation, and achievement relate to the sports field and describe how they can affect athletes’ performance. We present empirical evidence for the existence of different strengths of the three basic motives in three studies with elite athletes (Study 1), non-elite athletes (sport students, Study 2), and non-sport students infrequently involved in sports (Study 3). Our results suggest that elite athletes show higher levels of the implicit power motive compared to sport students, who in turn have higher power motives than non-sport students. Surprisingly, elite athletes do not differ from non-sport students regarding their implicit achievement motive. Moreover, non-sport students exhibit higher implicit affiliation motive scores than sport students and elite athletes. We propose that research on motivational processes of highly competitive athletes should – in addition to the achievement motive – focus more on motive themes like the implicit motives of power and affiliation.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW)
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW) > Sport Science I

UniBE Contributor:

Wegner, Mirko; Sieber, Vanda and Schüler, Julia

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
700 Arts > 790 Sports, games & entertainment

Publisher:

NOVA

Language:

English

Submitter:

Vanda Sieber

Date Deposited:

30 Mar 2015 15:32

Last Modified:

30 Mar 2015 15:32

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/66866

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