Cultural ideologies in sport and their effects on team cohesion and performance

  • Jacob Jensen CSUN
  • Alfredo Leon California State University, Northridge
  • Mark P. Otten California State University, Northridge
Keywords: multiculturalism, colorblindness, sport psychology, cohesion, performance, team cohesion


The present study investigated cultural ideologies, specifically colorblindness and multiculturalism, and their effect on team cohesion within a sport setting.  Past research has focused on cultural ideologies in business but not sport settings, and studies on diversity in sport have not looked at teams through a cultural ideological lens. Therefore, the current study addressed those gaps in previous research on cultural ideologies and cohesion and performance in sport.  Researchers measured cohesion across three conditions (colorblind, multicultural, and control) during a basketball shooting task. The first hypothesis was that a team with one of the two cultural ideologies (colorblindness or multiculturalism) would have better cohesion than a team with no cultural ideology.  The second hypothesis was that team cohesion would act as a mediator between cultural ideology and team success.  Performance variables (e.g., task completion time) were also compared across conditions to assess which team was more successful in completing the task. The results indicated partial support of the hypotheses, showing a relationship between each of the variables and performance, but no mediation by cohesion between cultural ideologies and performance. Specifically, having a cultural ideology and higher levels of cohesion were both significant predictors of higher/better performance. The results have positive implications for cultural ideologies and their effect on a team and its performance. 



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