“White men can't jump.” but can they throw? social perception in European basketball

Philip Furley, Matt Dicks

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In the present article, we investigate the influence of sociocultural stereotypes on the impression formation of basketball players and coaches. In Experiment 1 (n = 32), participants were shown a picture of a black or white basketball player prior to observation of a point-light video of a player executing a basketball free throw. The participant was informed that the player depicted in the picture was executing the free throw. Results indicated that ethnicity of the target player significantly influenced participant evaluations, demonstrating specific stereotypes about black and white basketball players when evaluating performance. In Experiment 2 (n = 30), results derived from the Implicit Association Test indicated that black players are implicitly associated with athletic player attributes. The results are in line with social schema theory and demonstrate that – similar to findings that have been reported in the United States – a subpopulation of German basketball players and coaches hold specific stereotypes about the abilities of black and white basketball athletes. These stereotypes bias impression formation when coaches and players make assessments of basketball performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)857-867
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports
Issue number5
Early online date29 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2014


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