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The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Theory: When Coaches’ Expectations Become Reality Thelma Sternberg Horn, Curt L. Lox, and Francisco Labrador Chapter 5 “I.

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Presentation on theme: "The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Theory: When Coaches’ Expectations Become Reality Thelma Sternberg Horn, Curt L. Lox, and Francisco Labrador Chapter 5 “I."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Theory: When Coaches’ Expectations Become Reality Thelma Sternberg Horn, Curt L. Lox, and Francisco Labrador Chapter 5 “I couldn’t believe it! This kid came to the first day of Little League draft tryouts with bright purple and spiked hair! Me and all of the other coaches... none of us wanted him on our team. But, in the last round of draft picks, I got stuck with him. The funny thing is that by the end of the season, he turned out to be our team’s Most Valuable Player! Once you got past the purple hair, the kid was a real solid baseball player.” Little League Baseball Coach Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

2 “Pygmalion in the Classroom” Do teachers’ expectations affect student academic progress? (Rosenthal and Jacobson, 1968) Method: Told teachers certain “late bloomer” students were expected to achieve big academic gains In actuality, selected at random Results: False information led teachers to hold higher expectations for targeted children and they did better than others Conclusion: Expectations served as self-fulfilling prophecy by initiating a series of events that ultimately cause fulfillment of expectations Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

3 Self-fulfilling Prophecy The coaches’ expectations or judgments of their athletes can influence the athletes’ performance and behavior Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

4 Expectation-Performance Model Step 1: Coach develops an expectation for each athlete that predicts the level of performance/type of behavior that athlete will exhibit over the course of the year Step 2: These expectations influence the coach’s treatment of individual athletes Step 3: Coach’s treatment affects the athlete’s performance and rate of learning Step 4: Athlete’s behavior and performance conform to the coach’s expectations thus reinforcing coach’s expectations Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

5 Step 1: Coach Forms Expectations Person Cues – Socioeconomic status, racial or ethnic group, family background, gender, physique, etc. Behaviorally based information – Scores on physical tests, past performance achievements, other coaches’ comments, etc. Psychological Characteristics – Confidence levels, level of anxiety, degree of “coachability”, aspects of their personality Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

6 Step 1: Coach Forms Expectations (cont.) A coach’s initial judgment is not always correct “Perceptual flexibility” – changes when the athlete demonstrates better performance than expected “Perceptual inflexibility” – regardless of player’s performance, coach sees what they expected to see Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

7 Step 2: How Expectations Affect Behavior Coach shows differential behavior to high- and low- expectancy athletes in regard to: Frequency and quality of interactions Quality and quantity of instruction Frequency and type of feedback Less frequent, appropriate, and beneficial Attribute success to luck or opponent error and failure to low ability Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

8 Step 3: Effect on Athlete The coach’s original expectation determines, rather than predicts, the athlete’s level of achievement Players who receive less effective instruction and less time in practice drills do not show the same degree of skill improvement as their teammates This affects the athlete’s psychological growth Athletes use coach feedback to determine how competent or incompetent they are Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

9 Step 4: Athlete’s Performance Conforms to Coach’s Expectations Coach believes that she/he is an astute judge of sport potential because expectations came true Conformance reinforces the Pygmalion-prone coach Athletes that are more dependent on coach’s interaction/feedback/instruction are most easily “molded” Athletes who are higher achieving and have other informational sources are resistant to Pygmalion effects Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

10 Sport Applications 3 Expectancy-Related Issues: 1.Maturation, maturational rates, and the sport expectancy process 2.Sport stereotypes and the expectancy process 3.Coaches’ personal characteristics, their leadership styles, and the sport expectancy process Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

11 Maturation, Maturational Rates, and the Sport Expectancy Process Late maturing male athletes can be falsely diagnosed by coaches as low-expectancy athletes The opposite is true of early maturing female athletes Expectancy-biased coaching means the athlete receives less instruction, playing time, or feedback Athletes might be phased out or cut based on coach’s expectancy-biased behavior Developmental vulnerability Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

12 Sport Stereotypes and the Expectancy Process – Youths Ethnicity: May lead to positive or negative perceptions based on the individuals physical and mental capabilities When Pygmalion-prone coaches racially stereotype it inhibit the progress of individual athletes or groups of athletes Gender: Stereotypes are based on perceptions that males and females differ in selected physical and/or psychological traits relevant to performance outcomes in sport Girls more likely to be treated as low-expectancy athletes Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

13 Sport Stereotypes and the Expectancy Process – College “Dumb-jock” Impacts athletes differently based on race, ethnicity, gender, and sport type Research shows negative stereotypes can undermine academic, motor, and sport performance College athletes who perceived that their coach regarded their academic ability positively were less susceptible to stereotyped threat perceptions Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

14 Personal Characteristics, Leadership Styles, and Sport Expectancy What characteristics distinguish coaches who act in expectancy-biased ways from coaches who do not? Gender-biased or homophobic Entity perspective VS. Incremental perspective Leadership style may predict -- perhaps prone if: Controlling interpersonal style Threaten athletes with punishment, use guilt- inducing methods of behavioral control, and allow athletes little or no involvement in any decision- making processes Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

15 Behavioral Recommendations for Coaches 1.Determine what source of information they use to form pre and early season expectations 2.Realize initial assessments of an athlete’s competence may be inaccurate and should be revised continuously 3.Keep a running count of the amount of time each athlete spends in non-skill related activities 4.Design instructional activities or drills that provide all athletes with an opportunity to improve their skills Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.

16 Behavioral Recommendations for Coaches (cont.) 5.Respond to errors with corrective instruction 6.Emphasize skill improvement as a means of evaluating and reinforcing individual athletes 7.Interact frequently with all athletes on team to solicit information concerning perceptions 8.Create a mastery-oriented climate in team practices Copyright © 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.


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