Emotions in context – social aspects of emotions in sport settings


Emotions are an ubiquitous component of sport experiences (Jones & Uphill, 2012). Much research has been directed at uncovering relevant antecedents, moderators, and consequences of emotional responses to sport participation, performance, and outcomes. What is surprising, however, it that this research has focused almost exclusively on individuals as isolated actors in their sport experiences. Yet, neither athletes nor coaches or officials operate in a social vacuum. On the contrary, social influence is a pervasive feature of sport (Beauchamp & Eys, 2014). In the present symposium, we address emotions as products of their social context and provide examples of how this context influences their development, character, and regulation. In the form of five theoretically-framed presentations including a mix of quantitative and qualitative methodologies across diverse samples capturing adolescence and adulthood, we focus on (a) social factors as causes of emotions, (b) self-conscious emotions as socially constructed phenomena, (c) a framework for collective emotions, (d) experiences of individual versus collective emotions, and (e) interpersonal emotion regulation. The symposium ends with a discussion, highlighting the influence of the social context on emotional experiences in sport and guidelines to advance theory, research, and practice. Beauchamp, M. R., & Eys, M. A. (Eds.) (2014). Group dynamics in exercise and sport psychology (2nd ed.). Abingdon, UK: Routledge. Jones, M., & Uphill, M. (2012). Emotion in sport: Antecedents and performance consequences. In J. Thatcher, M. Jones, & D. Lavallee (Eds.), Coping and emotion in sport (2nd ed., pp. 33–61). Abingdon, UK: Nova Science.