Publication Date

Spring 2017

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Elizabeth L. Shoenfelt (Director), Reagan D. Brown, and Cindy Ehresman

Degree Program

Department of Psychological Sciences

Degree Type

Master of Science


The present study examined justice perceptions of an intercollegiate athlete who was punished for a team rule violation outside of competition. This scenario study is a modified replication of Severs’ (2009) study on justice perceptions of intercollegiate athletes; one additional factor, importance of the next competition, was examined in the current study. Perceptions of fairness and perceptions of likelihood of deterring future misconduct were examined using a factorial design with two levels of punishment severity (severe and moderate), two levels of misconduct severity (severe and moderate), two types of punishment distribution (consistent and conditional), and two types of game importance (exhibition and post-season). Consistently applying punishment had a highly significant effect on perceptions of fairness to the punished athlete and to teammates, and on the likelihood the punishment will deter future misconduct by the punished athlete and by teammates. Interactions, with small effects, indicated that the severity of the punishment should match the severity of the violation; that females more than males perceive conditional punishment as less fair; and that the importance of the next competition increases fairness perceptions of conditional punishment. Implications for practice are clear. Consistently apply team rules and punishment for violations of those rules is effective in creating perceptions of fairness of the punishment and deterring future misconduct.


Applied Behavior Analysis | Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Human Resources Management | Social Psychology