Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Soccer in the mass media: Examining the role of metaperceptions of goal orientation on spectators’ moral functioning

Alejandro Carriedo, José A. Cecchini, Carmen González



Watching soccer can be a source of leisure and enjoyment. However, the behaviour of some spectators is a concern that might be related to competitive sport and its handling by the mass media. This study analysed the relationship between the exposure to soccer in the media and the spectators’ moral functioning. Participants were college students (N = 355), who completed questionnaires assessing the time spent watching/listening/reading soccer programming, metaperception of goal orientations, and moral functioning. Structural Equation Modelling analysis indicated that the exposure to soccer programming was positively associated with metaperception of ego orientation, which in turn was associated with low levels of moral functioning. The direct effects of the exposure of soccer programming on moral functioning were significantly reduced in the presence of metaperception of ego orientation, indicating that such metaperception mediates the association between these two variables. These findings help us to explain the processes operating in soccer spectators.


Competitive sports; Soccer spectators; Sport events; Moral judgment


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