Publication Date

Summer 2021

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Elizabeth L. Shoenfelt (Director), Reagan Brown, and Andrew Mienaltowski

Degree Program

Department of Psychological Sciences

Degree Type

Master of Science


In this study I investigated perceptions of the severity of rule violations and punishments to calibrate these events for use in research on sport team disciplinary decisions. Data were collected from 62 athletes and 12 coaches who rated the severity of violations and punishments. Comparisons were made between the athlete and coach ratings for both violations and punishments. The results showed that there is a high degree of agreement between the coaches and athletes in their rating the severity of violations and punishments. Ratings in this study were compared with the results of a previous study conducted almost two decades ago (Specht, 2000). Current ratings of severity for violations and punishments by both athletes and coaches were highly correlated with the ratings from 2000. Most of the meaningful differences for athletes and coaches in the comparison with Specht’s results and the current study was a trend downward, meaning that they perceived the violations and punishments to be less severe than they were rated in 2000. Implications for practice and for future research are discussed.


Industrial and Organizational Psychology | Psychology | Sports Studies