Sport skill level in context of individual moral orientation assessment

M.V. Popova1
Dr. Sc. Psych., Professor E.Y. Veselova2
E.Y. Korzhova2
PhD T.A. Makarova1
1Churapcha State Institute of Physical Culture and Sports, Churapcha, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)
2Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia, St. Petersburg

Keywords: morality, moral values and priorities, moral choice, morality indices, academic athletes, athletic qualifications, sports progress.

Background. Sports are known to develop specific physical, technical and tactical skills and bodily qualities plus shape up many personality traits, merits and qualities that manifest themselves in the individual behavioral models [7, 8]. Despite the multiple negative sports-specific factors due to the elite sports claiming extreme efforts on the verge of the human natural abilities for success, modern sports still develop high self-confidence, stress tolerance, responsibility for own performance etc. largely driven by the individual moral values and priorities [1, 9, 2 , 4, 5] that form a basis for many best personality qualities including honesty, conscientiousness and fairness with its feel of truth, duty and social responsibility [10]. There are good reasons to assume in this context that a competitive progress in the modern sports may be correlated with the individual moral values and priorities viewed as a personal mental health and progress indicator [6].

Objective of the study was to analyze correlations of the sports progress and skills with the individual moral values and priorities.

Methods and structure of the study. The study was run in 2017-19 at the Federal Olympic Reserve Sports School (ORSS) in the Churapcha Ulus [county] and the R.M. Dmitrievich Republican Olympic Reserve College (ORC) in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). We sampled 372 athletes to form the following three skill groups: Group 1 (n=124) composed of Masters of Sports (MS) and Candidate Masters of Sports (CMS); Group 2 formed of Class I-III athletes (n=124); and Group 3 of the formally unqualified academic athletes (n-124).

The moral values and priorities of the sample were rated by the Friend-Counselor-2 method [3] that estimates individual behavior and responses in the modeled challenging life situations needed to be responded by a moral choice driven solutions versus the commonly accepted social moral standards. It should be mentioned that the actual life circumstances are often so contradictory that the moral choices may be very difficult and ambiguous, with the individual situation-specific responses and decisions dictated by the personality moral values and priorities. The Friend-Counselor-2 method offers 31 standard moral choice situations need to be responded by the best possible critical decisions, with the respondent being free to opt for a moral values and priorities compliant or a moral values and priorities conflicting (negative) solution.

The respondent, for example, is offered the following instruction: “Imagine that your friend or girlfriend needs your advice in a difficult situation. Please give the advice on every point in writing by one or few phrases”. The responses were processed to quantify four key moral decision-making indices (I, P, U, O) and 12 moral values and priorities test rates (V, VM, VNM, NR, RAC, A-, T, F, E, M, C , A +) based on the response content analysis for the whole set of the 31 modeled situations. Based on the moral decision making indices, every situation-specific response was classified as (1) positive moral choice fully compliant with the moral standard scored by 2 points; (2) negative moral choice contrary to or neglecting the moral standards scored by 0 points; and (3) evasive (contradictory, vague, uncertain or dodged) response rated by 1 point. We fixed the numbers of evasive (E), positive (P) and negative (N) responses to calculate the consolidated (summarizing the 31 test rates) individual morality indices.

The individual moral values and priorities were rated by a content analysis of the responses to the 31 modelled moral choice situations based on the occurrence frequencies of each of the above statement classes, to arrive to the following 12 moral values and priorities test rates: V – constructive/ specific solutions for every situation; VM - external motivations driven solutions (duty, social standards, law, consequences, etc.); VNM - internal motivations driven solutions (guilt, remorse, heartache, etc.); NR - moral relativism/ opportunism ("Do what is the most comfortable for you"); RAC - rational explanations for the solutions; A- negative emotions driven solutions (condemnation, neglect, anger, irritation, hostility, detachment); T – alienation driven solutions (unwillingness to interfere in the friend’s situation); F – general unspecific solutions (rather evasive excuses with uncertain results); E - provisional moral choice solutions i.e. limited by certain conditions; M - isolation driven solutions with advices to keep away from feelings, emotions; A+ - positive emotions driven solutions (approval, praise, positive feelings like love, friendship, etc.).

Results and discussion. Given in Table 1 hereunder are the moral values and priorities test rates and morality indices of the sample.

Table 1. Sports progress/ skills versus the moral values and priorities test rates and morality indices of the sample

Moral values and priorities test rates

Sports qualification`

Difference significance rate*

MS+CMS,

n=124

Сlass I-III, n=124

Unqualified, n=124

h

p

Negative responses (N)

3,43

5,66

5,60

24,32

0,00

Positive responses (P)

20,98

15,96

17,31

34,80

0,00

Evasive responses (E)

6,50

9,38

8,09

13,71

0,00

Morality index (MI)

51,90

46,96

48,31

32,32

0,00

Constructive, V

0,38

0,40

0,45

6,68

0,00

Internal motives, VM

0,23

0,09

0,10

67,87

0,00

Rationality, RAC

0,03

0,06

0,06

10,15

0,00

Negative emotions, A-

0,03

0,05

0,05

3,98

0,02

Emotional alienation, T

0,04

0,10

0,08

12,77

0,00

Provisional, E

0,03

0,04

0,02

3,51

0,03

Emotional isolation, M

0,01

0,02

0,01

5,17

0,01

Positive emotions, A+

0,07

0,03

0,03

27,28

0,00

Note: * Kruskal-Wallis criterion

On the whole, we found the moral values and priorities test rates (including the positive P-responses and high morality index) being significantly higher in the top-qualification group versus the lower-skilled groups. The individual morality test rates given above in the Table were also indicative of the highly-skilled group being much more mature in the moral-choice-situation responding solutions as verified by their higher reliance on the internal motivations (VM) and conscience; they virtually never offer evasive solutions difficult for fulfillment (V) or make resort to abstract talks (RAC); plus their moral choice situation-specific solutions are more often driven by positive (A+) than negative (A-) emotions; and they are less likely to show emotional alienation (T) and offer provisional solutions (E).

Conclusion. The study data and analyses give good reasons to state that the highly skilled athletes demonstrate much more mature personality qualities and motivations in the moral choice situations and, hence, are tested with the significantly higher moral values and priorities that their lower-skilled or unskilled peers.

References

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Corresponding author: ssvjakutija@yandex.ru

Abstract

Objective of the study was to analyze correlations of the sports progress and skills with the individual moral values and priorities.

Methods and structure of research. The study was run in 2017-19 at the Federal Olympic Reserve Sports School (ORSS) in the Churapcha Ulus [county] and the R.M. Dmitrievich Republican Olympic Reserve College (ORC) in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). We sampled 372 athletes to form the following three skill groups: Group 1 (n=124) composed of Masters of Sports (MS) and Candidate Masters of Sports (CMS); Group 2 formed of Class I-III athletes (n=124); and Group 3 of the formally unqualified academic athletes (n-124).

The moral values and priorities of the sample were rated by the Friend-Counselor-2 method [3] that estimates individual behavior and responses in the modeled challenging life situations needed to be responded by a moral choice driven solutions versus the commonly accepted social moral standards. Results of the study. The study found statistically significant differences in the level of moral orientation between the MS, CMS, and mass-class athletes and those without any sports qualifications. The common indicators of moral orientation - the number of positive choices and the general morality index – were significantly higher in the athletes with the highest qualification than in those having lower qualifications. The moral sphere indicators, presented in the table as a frequency of statements by certain categories, indicated the same: the highly skilled athletes demonstrated a much more mature personality attitude to moral choice. They mostly rely on the internal motives of moral choice, talk of conscience; give considerably less difficult advice and discuss unrelated matters; when making a moral choice, they experience much more positive emotions than negative ones; they are less likely to have emotional alienation or make a conditional choice.

The study data and analyses give good reasons to state that the highly skilled athletes demonstrate much more mature personality qualities and motivations in the moral choice situations and, hence, are tested with the significantly higher moral values and priorities that their lower-skilled or unskilled peers.