Superstitious beliefs as moderators in the achievement goals: competitive anxiety relationship
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of the four achievement goals proposed by the 2 x 2 achievement goal approach on the formation of competitive trait anxiety and the moderating role of superstitious beliefs. Two hundred and twenty one elite male basketball players (M = 23.71, SD = 6.78) participated in this study. The players of the sample completed a battery of scales measuring achievement goals, competitive trait anxiety and superstitious beliefs. Linear regression analyses indicated that all achievement goals participated in the prediction of worry and concentration disruption, and mastery-avoidance and performance-approach significantly predicted somatic anxiety. Superstitious beliefs moderated the effect of performance (approach and avoidance) goals on the cognitive element of competitive trait anxiety (worry and concentration disruption). The findings support the application of the 2 x 2 approach in sport settings and provide valuable information on the role superstitious beliefs may play during sport involvement.