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Putting Like a Pro: The Role of Positive Contagion in Golf Performance and Perception

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Article numbere26016
Journal publication date20/10/2011
JournalPLoS ONE
Journal number10
Volume6
Number of pages4
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Many amateur athletes believe that using a professional athlete's equipment can improve their performance. Such equipment can be said to be affected with positive contagion, which refers to the belief of transference of beneficial properties between animate persons/objects to previously neutral objects. In this experiment, positive contagion was induced by telling participants in one group that a putter previously belonged to a professional golfer. The effect of positive contagion was examined for perception and performance in a golf putting task. Individuals who believed they were using the professional golfer's putter perceived the size of the golf hole to be larger than golfers without such a belief and also had better performance, sinking more putts. These results provide empirical support for anecdotes, which allege that using objects with positive contagion can improve performance, and further suggest perception can be modulated by positive contagion.

Bibliographic note

Copyright: © 2011 Lee et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.