Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2016

Publication Title

Review of European Studies

Volume

8

Issue

2

First Page

1

Last Page

7

DOI

10.5539/res.v8n2p1

ISSN

1918-7181

Keywords

athletic performance, couple relationship, cross-cultural conceptualization, love, Olympic athlete, passion

Abstract

In this brief report, we provide an initial account of the association between love and athletic performance from the perspective of Olympic athletes. We posit that Romantic Passionate Love (RPL) and athletic performance may both involve the reward-motivation system of the brain. Based on this premise, we explored whether activation in one domain (love) might influence the other (sport). Our investigation was framed using Sternberg’s triangular theory of love. Twenty Olympic athletes representing different sports were interviewed at the Games. Most athletes (n = 15) reported that their performance was better while in love; however, qualitative responses suggested that the benefits were correlated with rather than resulting from RPL. Although the athletes were provided with a definition of RPL and affirmed that their relationship met the criteria, interview responses reflected companionate rather than passionate love, suggesting that RPL may be differentially conceptualized across cultures. The study provides preliminary data that may be used to inform and refine future work on this topic.

Comments

Campbell, K., Hosseini, C., Myers, K., & Calub, N. (2016). Does love influence athletic performance? The perspectives of Olympic athletes. Review of European Studies, 8 (2), 1-7, published online at http://www.ccsenet.org/journal/index.php/res/article/view/58057

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