Positive Illusion and Athletic Success

Catina, Peter; Iso-Ahola, Seppo E.
June 2004
International Sports Journal;Summer2004, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p80
Academic Journal
A 23-item scale measuring positive illusion in competitive athletes was developed to calculate the degree to which positive illusion was associated with sport performance. This was determined by examining the relationships among levels of positive illusion, motivation to compete, expected success, and actual success. Positive illusion represents 3 cognitive characteristics: self-aggrandizement, illusion of control, and unrealistic optimism. The theoretical model tested in this study depicts positive illusion as the exogenous variable and actual success as the endogenous variable. A recursive path model was constructed to establish decomposition effects among the moderator variables of expected success and motivation to compete. Results showed that positive illusion was directly (positively) related to actual success and indirectly (positively) related to actual success through its direct (positive) effect on motivation to compete and expected success. These relationships were statistically significant and consistent with positive illusion as a theoretical construct. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.


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