Conviction in attitudes related to doping: An experimental study with football coaches

Javier Horcajo, Ricardo De la Vega


This experiment analysed the effect that deliberative thinking involved in the processing of relevant information had on the conviction of the participants in their doping-related attitudes. Participants were football coaches who received a written proposal (i.e., a persuasive message) against (or in favour of) the legalization of several banned substances and doping behaviours. Moreover, the extent of deliberative thinking (i.e., the elaboration likelihood, high vs. low) was manipulated between participants. Finally, attitudes towards legalization and conviction in those attitudes were assessed as dependent variables. As predicted, results showed attitudes were only affected by the direction of the message (η2 = .064). Therefore, coaches who received the message against legalisation showed attitudes which were less favourable than coaches who received the message in favour of legalization. However, as expected, conviction was only in relation to elaboration likelihood (η2 = .050). Thus, coaches with a high elaboration likelihood showed more conviction in their attitudes than coaches with a low elaboration likelihood. In this paper, we discuss the importance of conviction in the understanding and the prediction of the impact of attitudes on subsequent thinking and behaviour with respect to doping in coaches and athletes.


Attitudes; Conviction; Doping; Elaboration; Persuasion

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Copyright (c) 2016 Javier Horcajo, Ricardo De la Vega