Do collectivist cultures produce better sports teams?


Purpose. Research outside sport psychology indicates that collectivist cultures positively influence group achievements. Because of this results of sports teams from collectivist cultures should be better than those of their counterparts from individualist cultures. This hypothesis was examined in two studies. Basic procedures. (1) In study I, 15 coaches, using the IC Interpersonal Assessment Inventory (ICIAI), enumerated characteristics that a perfect team member should possess. (2) In study II, individual results (achieved between 2001 and 2008) of four top Japanese and Brazilian athletes (collectivist cultures) and American and British (individualist cultures) were compared against the best 4 × 100 m relay results from these countries. Main findings. (1) In the coaches’ opinion players of team sports should definitely be more collectivist than individualist in relation to the values professed. (2) In the context of athlete’s potential, the Japanese and Brazilian relay teams achieved generally better results than their American and British counterparts. Conclusions. The obtained results show that collectivist cultures not only facilitate and favor the development of sports teams, but also enhance their performance.

Source: “Influence of Culture on Sports Achievements: The Case of Sprint Relay Teams from Japan, Brazil, the USA and Great Britain” from Human Movement, Volume 10, Number 2 / December 2009

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