The role of moral identity and regret on cheating in sport

Journal article


Hurst, P., Kavussanu, M., Swain, J. and Ring, C. The role of moral identity and regret on cheating in sport. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1080/1612197X.2022.2057567
AuthorsHurst, P., Kavussanu, M., Swain, J. and Ring, C.
Abstract

Cheating in sport can have adverse interpersonal consequences and violate the ideal of fair play, which involves abiding by the rules when competing. To help develop effective methods to prevent cheating in sport, research is needed that identifies the psychological factors underpinning an athlete’s decision to cheat. The purpose of this multi-study research was to examine the role of moral identity and regret on cheating in sport. In Study 1, we used a cross-sectional design to examine relationships between moral identity, regret, and cheating attitudes. In Study 2, we used a field design to examine relationships between moral identity, regret, and cheating attitudes during competitive running races to win prize money. After awarding the prize money to the winners, we asked participants whether they would change their decision to cheat if given the opportunity. In Study 1, moral identity was directly and indirectly (via regret) related to cheating attitudes. In Study 2, participants who cheated reported lower moral identity, greater regret, and more favourable cheating attitudes than those who did not cheat. After the prizes were awarded to winners, those who did not cheat, but wanted to change their decision to cheat, reported greater feelings of regret compared to those not wanting to change their decision. In conclusion, cheating in sport elicits regret, which could modify future cheating behaviour. However, athletes may be more likely to cheat in future if they had chosen not to cheat and foregone a benefit.

KeywordsAnti-social behaviour; Anticipated regret; Counterfactual regret; Emotion; Unethical behaviour
JournalInternational Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
PublisherTaylor and Francis Online
ISSN1612-197X
1557-251X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/1612197X.2022.2057567
Official URLhttps://doi.org/10.1080/1612197X.2022.2057567
Publication dates
Online31 Mar 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted01 Mar 2022
Deposited03 Mar 2022
Accepted author manuscript
License
Output statusPublished
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McMorris, T., Collard, K., Corbett, J., Dicks, M. and Swain, J. 2007. A test of the catecholamines hypothesis for an acute exercise–cognition interaction. Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior. 89 (1), pp. 106-115. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pbb.2007.11.007
Creatine supplementation and cognitive performance in elderly individuals
McMorris, T., Mielcarz, G., Harris, R., Swain, J. and Howard, A. 2007. Creatine supplementation and cognitive performance in elderly individuals. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition. 14 (5), pp. 517-528. https://doi.org/10.1080/13825580600788100
Effect of creatine supplementation and sleep deprivation, with mild exercise, on cognitive and psychomotor performance, mood state, and plasma concentrations of catecholamines and cortisol
McMorris, T., Harris, R., Swain, J., Corbett, J., Collard, K., Dyson, R., Dye, L., Hodgson, C. and Draper, N. 2006. Effect of creatine supplementation and sleep deprivation, with mild exercise, on cognitive and psychomotor performance, mood state, and plasma concentrations of catecholamines and cortisol. Psychopharmacology. 185 (1), pp. 93-103. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-005-0269-z
Heat stress, plasma concentrations of adrenaline, noradrenaline, 5-hydroxytryptamine and cortisol, mood state and cognitive performance
McMorris, T., Swain, J., Smith, M., Corbett, J., Delves, S., Sale, C., Harris, R. and Potter, J. 2006. Heat stress, plasma concentrations of adrenaline, noradrenaline, 5-hydroxytryptamine and cortisol, mood state and cognitive performance. International Journal of Psychophysiology. 61 (2), pp. 204-215. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2005.10.002
Incremental exercise, plasma catecholamine concentrations and performance of a psychomotor skill
McMorris, T., Tallon, M., Williams, C., Sproule, J., Potter, J., Swain, J., Draper, S. and Clayton, N. 2003. Incremental exercise, plasma catecholamine concentrations and performance of a psychomotor skill. Perceptual and Motor Skills. 97 (5), pp. 590-604. https://doi.org/10.2466/PMS.97.5.590-604