Home advantage without being home: The effect of perceived advantage or disadvantage on basketball performance


Across sports home teams win 60.4% of games (Jamieson, 2010). The causes of this home advantage are still unclear, mainly due to the fact that most of the studies were archival, and / or focus on the influence of external potential factors (like spectators, referees) , but not on the information processes of the athletes. The main aim of this study was to assess the impact of perceived advantage (home condition) or disadvantage (away condition) on physical coordination and endurance in a basketball course while keeping the actual conditions objectively equal in an experimental design. After performing the course for the first time (baseline) basketball players (N = 36) were randomly assigned to one of two conditions. Through an information sheet perceptions of advantaged ("It is like a home game.") or disadvantaged ("It is like an away game.") conditions for the second run of the course were induced keeping the actual conditions equal. The players filled in a questionnaire on their self-efficacy and external efficacy expectations and performed the course again. Players of the home condition enhanced their endurance performance in the second course more (M = 1.66 rounds, SD = 0.87) than away participants (M = 0.29 rounds, SD = 1.13), t(34) = 4.10, p < .001, d = 1.41. , although the actual conditions were equal. However, no significant difference between groups was found for the reported expectations (all p > .10). Further studies are needed to investigate the psychological processes underlying home advantage with experimental research designs.