What impact do crowds have on football ⚽️games? Is there such a thing as 'home advantage'? It's a question that is of interest to those of us who watch the sport, but also to non-sports fans because it helps us to understand the psychology of how we...
What impact do crowds have on football ⚽️games? Is there such a thing as 'home advantage'? It's a question that is of interest to those of us who watch the sport, but also to non-sports fans because it helps us to understand the psychology of how we are impacted by our environment and other people.
My guest, Dane McCarrick is a postgraduate researcher at The University of Leeds whose interests include the psychosocial factors underpinning sporting excellence in association football, with a particular focus on how psychological stress influences performance.
Thanks to COVID-19, a large number of professional football games were played behind closed doors. As a result, it was possible to undertake a study of what impact the absence of fans had on the results. The answer is significant — not having them there, reduced home advantage, illustrating that there is an impact on both players and referees.
In our discussion, we talk about the home advantage study and then move on to talk about Dane’s broader work looking at the psychology of sport. We explore how pressure and stress impact sporting performance and there are some lessons in there for all of us about how we manage those dynamics in our own lives, whether or not we play sport.
From a human risk perspective, the study helps us to think about what might influence our behaviours. And, if we consider the referee as fulfilling a compliance role, there are parallels for how we manage Compliance in organisations.
To learn more about Dane and his research visit: https://medicinehealth.leeds.ac.uk/psychology/pgr/4310/dane-mccarrick
To read the Home Advantage research: The research piece on home advantage is here: https://psyarxiv.com/2gkht/
You can also read an article written by Dane for The Psychologist magazine here:https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/home-premier-advantage
Other sports-related episodes of the podcast include:
-Ben Cohen on the Hot Hand fallacy:
- Rafael Honigstein on the psychology of football:
- Derek Rae on what football can teach us about decision-making:https://www.podpage.com/the-human-risk-podcast/derek-rae-on-what-football/