Public perception of credibility predicts negative character inferences: implications for athlete defences following accusations of doping

King, Jacinta, Engelberg, Terry, and Caltabiano, Marie (2018) Public perception of credibility predicts negative character inferences: implications for athlete defences following accusations of doping. In: [Presented at the Australian Conference on Personality and Individual Differences]. From: ACPID 2018: Australian Conference on Personality and Individual Differences, 6-8 December 2018, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia.

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Abstract

Current anti-doping policies allow for innocent athletes to be penalized in cases where accidental or inadvertent consumption of a banned substance has occurred. Whilst previous work has investigated the comparative effectiveness of different formulations of an apology, research has yet to examine the effects of different denial strategies. To address this question, the current study used Moston and Stephenson’s (2009) typology of denial strategies as a basis for developing an experiment designed to assess the relative persuasiveness of a range of different types of denial. Using a quasi-experimental design, participants (Males: n = 48, Females: n = 83) read a short vignette describing a fictional athlete, an alleged doping charge, and the athlete’s response. Participants evaluated the credibility of the fictional athlete’s denial of wrongdoing and were asked to evaluate the athlete based on three negative traits: Machiavellianism, Psychopathy and Narcissism. The questionnaire was comprised of items pertaining to various aspects of credibility and utilised an adaption of the Dirty Dozen to measure the three dark traits. Results indicated that there were no significant differences in how the athlete was perceived depending on the type of denial used, and the athlete was largely neutrally perceived in evaluations of credibility. Participant characteristics, such as involvement in sport, did not significantly affect or predict how the athlete was evaluated. However, results indicated that athletes judged as less credible were likely to suffer negative inferences to their character. Interestingly, Machiavellianism and Psychopathy significantly predicted the extent to which an athlete was seen as credible, whereas no such effect was observed for Narcissism. Several explanations arise as to why this might be apparent. The current study provides a starting point in which further research might begin on the topic of the effectiveness of denial strategies as a defence following accusations of doping.

Item ID: 56641
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Keywords: perceptions, athletes, doping allegation
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Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2019 02:42
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170109 Personality, Abilities and Assessment @ 50%
17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170114 Sport and Exercise Psychology @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 100%
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