A preliminary investigation of the decision making process towards match fixing

Abstract

Match fixing represents a major threat to sport integrity and action is needed to tackle this phenomenon across levels and types of sport. The present study examined, for the first time, the psychological factors associated with athletes’ intentions to engage in match fixing, by utilizing the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Ninety nine athletes from team sports (M = 21.98 years, SD = 2.25) participated in the study and completed a survey measuring the variables of TPB (i.e., attitudes, subjective norms, perceived behavioural control, and intentions). The results of the analyses indicated that approximately 30% of the athletes reported that have been engaged in a match that they believe was fixed, and intentions to engage in match fixing were significantly associated with perceived social approval of match fixing among referent others. Further analysis showed that athletes with prior experience of match fixing also perceived stronger social norms in favor of match fixing as compared to athletes without such experience. Our findings are novel and have implications about the role of social norms in understanding and preventing match fixing in sport, and we provide specific recommendation for future studies and policy-making in this area.

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Correspondence to Vassilis Barkoukis.

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Barkoukis, V., Lazuras, L. & Kourelis, P. A preliminary investigation of the decision making process towards match fixing. Crime Law Soc Change 74, 45–54 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10611-019-09870-5

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