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Being a good sportsman: Consequences of prosocial and antisocial sport behaviour

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding
    Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding

Project Description

This project can be offered either on a full-time or a part-time basis. Please email the prospective supervisor for more details.

Prosocial behaviours are behaviours intended to benefit others (Eisenberg & Fabes, 1998), e.g., helping a player off the floorm whereas antisocial behaviours are acts intended to harm or disadvantage the recipient (Sage, Kavussanu, & Duda, 2006), e.g., trying to injure another player. Several studies have identified predictors of prosocial and antisocial sport behaviours, such as empathy, moral disengagement, moral identity, and social goals (Boardley & Kavussanu, 2007; Sage et al., 2006). However, no study has examined consequences of these behaviours.

The purpose of this project is to investigate consequences of prosocial and antisocial behaviours in sport. The project will consist of three studies. In the first study, participants from a variety of sport teams, will complete questionnaires measuring positive and negative affect, subjective well-being, performance, and team cohesion. Psychological variables will be measured with questionnaires that have been validated in previous research, e.g., Positive and Negative Affect Scale (Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988), while performance will be measured using coach ratings. In the second study, we will collect data from five football teams at three points in the season. Questionnaires measuring the same variables as in the first study will be completed by players at the beginning, middle and end of the season. In addition, nine football matches will be filmed for each team (three at the beginning, three at the middle and three at the end of the season). The filmed games will be analysed by coding sport behaviours. Performance will also be coded as number of successful passes. In the third study an intervention with coaches and players will be developed and administered to three football teams. Three equivalent football teams will serve as control groups. The intervention will aim to enhance players’ empathy and reduce their moral disengagement, and teach coaches to create a motivational climate that emphasises personal improvement and cooperation among players; coaches will also be taught to encourage fair play. The same variables measured in study 1 will also be measured in this study at the beginning and end of the intervention.

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To find out more about studying for a PhD at the University of Birmingham, including full details of the research undertaken in each school, the funding opportunities for each subject, and guidance on making your application, you can now order your copy of the new Doctoral Research Prospectus, at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/students/drp.aspx

Funding Notes

We welcome applications from Home/EU and overseas students. The University of Birmingham offers a number of competitive scholarships for students of the highest calibre. Further details are available at :
View Website.

Funding may be available through the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre. For further information View Website


Students are also welcome to apply with their own funding for this project, either through their own person funds or by securing a scholarship.

Eligibility requirements: An Undergraduate Honours degree with a minimum classification of a 2.1 or equivalent and an English Language qualification for international students.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.40

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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