Masters Thesis

The Role of Perceived Social Support, Touch, and Efficacy Beliefs in Team Shared Mental Models.

The collective understanding and expectations of a team, known in the literature as Shared Mental Models (SMMs), is reinforced through a strong emotional and supportive environment. The purpose of this study is to observe instances of supportive touch and to measure the association between touch, perceived social support, and efficacy. This study observed videos of athletes during competitive events for instances of touch that are not related to the stratagem of the sport. The results illustrate a positive correlation between early season touch and early season performance. Touch frequency in the early portion of the season is positively associated with early season performance in volleyball. Simple linear regression analysis revealed how early season touch predicts early season volleyball performance. This finding is a conceptual replication of a study conducted on the National Basketball Association in 2010. The limitations, including small sample size and poor video quality are discussed. Furthermore, the role of support, touch, and efficacy in team shared models are described. Future directions include expanding the touch code methodology to test other areas outside of sport and testing larger sample sizes for greater generalizability.

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