Loughborough University
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Do titles matter in sport psychology? Performer attitudes toward professional titles and the effect of a brief intervention

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-03-16, 12:48 authored by Chris Harwood, Toby Woolway
Understanding the practitioner attributes that influence consumers’ preferences is of vital importance to licensing organizations and individual practitioners in the field of sport psychology (Hamberger & Iso-Ahola, 2006; Van Raalte, Brewer, Matheson & Brewer, 1996). This study examined consumer preferences towards three professional titles (sport psychologist, life coach, and neuro-linguistic programming practitioner) and a range of other practitioner characteristics, as well as the extent to which a brief intervention impacted these preferences. Following an assessment of current preferences amongst athletes (N = 229), researchers presented brief, educational vignettes formed of enhanced information regarding the three professions. Conjoint analysis was used to determine the relative importance of practitioner attributes pre- and post-intervention. Interpersonal skills emerged as the most important attribute prior to intervention. Several significant, post-intervention changes emerged in consumer preferences for practitioners, including an increased salience of professional title. The findings are discussed with an emphasis on implications for the training, professional development, and marketing of practitioners to potential clients.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

The Sport Psychologist


HARWOOD, C.G. and WOOLWAY, T., 2015. Do titles matter in sport psychology? Performer attitudes toward professional titles and the effect of a brief intervention. The Sport Psychologist, 29(2), pp.171-182.


© Human Kinetics, Inc.


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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