Exploration of Competitive Athletes’ Superstition Behavior in Taiwan

Proceedings of The 6th International Conference on Innovative Research in Education

Year: 2023



Exploration of Competitive Athletes’ Superstition Behavior in Taiwan

Shieh, Shiow-Fang




Superstitious thoughts or actions often occur during athletic competitions. Often “superstitious rituals” have a positive impact on the performance of competitive athletes. Athletes affirm the many psychological benefits of religious beliefs mostly in a positive way. Method: By snowball sampling, we recruited 10 experienced competitive athletes as participants. We used in-person and online one-to-one in-depth interview to collect their experiences about sport superstition. The total interview time was 795 minutes. We analyzed the raw data with the grounded theory processes suggested by Strauss and Corbin (1990). Results: The factors affecting athlete performance are ritual beliefs, taboo awareness, learning norms, and spontaneous attribution behaviors. Conclusion: We concluded that sports superstition reflects several psychological implications. The analysis results of this paper can provide another research perspective for the future study of sports superstition behavior.

keywords: superstition, taboo awareness, learning norms, competitive athletes