Ross and Davies (1) looked at the issue of Attributing to Positive and Negative Outcomes in sporting. This was done using two different case studies. The first case sought to establish that attribution can occur in absence of any prompting. The assumption for this study was that the athletes would not give an attribution unless prompted to do so. It also assumed that more people are likely to give explanations for negative results than for good outcomes. This had to be proven through the study.
The second case study aimed at identifying whether attribution could be picked from the post-match interviews with the individuals. As such, the method used for the case was a post-match interview. It was sought to test the information that individuals can give after a match and after getting the results, whether positive or negative.
The outcomes of the two studies indicated that individuals are more likely to give attribution or explanations when there is a negative outcome (Ross and Davies, 1). Similarly, it is highly unlikely that individuals give their attribution or feelings without being prompted to do so. However, when on cue to give their attribution, then most of them do not hold back. Rather, they do voluntarily give their feelings and ideas about the event. In other words, they give their attribution. It also came out that during the post-match interviews; the athletes are likely to give their attribution with minimum prompting. However, they do not dwell so much on the issue. There is the tendency to hold back until the actual prompting where the athlete can then spit out everything. As such, the study by Ross and Davies (1) helps to bring a clearer understanding on the sporting psychology.
Going through the article by Ross and Davies (1), there are two things that come out quite clearly. First of all, there is the fact that the athletes do not seem to volunteer much information unless they are prompted to do so. In my opinion, this could come from the psychology of the human beings. This is where individuals do not like sharing out so much of what is on their minds unless they are sure that the information is actually required. As such, the athlete can not just give comprehensive attribution unless he is very sure that it is actually required. Probably, this is because they try to play safe so that they cannot be branded as proud.
Secondly, it was clear that most athletes would rather give attribution for a negative outcome rather than a positive one. Again, this comes in due t the human psychology as it applies in the sporting activities. For instance, when an athlete goes out to compete, he is fully aware that there are fans and other individuals looking up to him. As such, the athlete seeks to impress and satisfy these people. Therefore, when the outcome is positive, there is not much to say since the goal is already achieved. However, when there is a negative outcome, there is the general feeling that the fans have been let down. As such, the athlete tries to reassure them and explain why he could not measure up to their expectations. This is how; to my understanding, negative outcomes tend to get more attribution than positive outcomes.
Ross, A.J. & Davies, J.B. (2004). Attributing to Positive and Negative Sporting Outcomes: A Structural Analysis. Athletic Insight. Retrieved on 21st March 2012 from http://www.athleticinsight.com/Vol6Iss3/ExplanatoryStructure.htm