Implicit versus explicit attitude to doping: Which better predicts athletes' vigilance towards unintentional doping?
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Objectives: This preliminary study examined whether implicit doping attitude, explicit doping attitude, or both, predicted athletes’ vigilance towards unintentional doping. Design: A cross-sectional correlational design. Methods: Australian athletes (N = 143; Mage = 18.13, SD = 4.63) completed measures of implicit doping attitude (brief single-category implicit association test), explicit doping attitude (Performance Enhancement Attitude Scale), avoidance of unintentional doping (Self-Reported Treatment Adherence Scale), and behavioural vigilance task of unintentional doping (reading the ingredients of an unfamiliar food product). Results: Positive implicit doping attitude and explicit doping attitude were negatively related to athletes’ likelihood of reading the ingredients table of an unfamiliar food product, and positively related to athletes’ vigilance towards unintentional doping. Neither attitude measures predicted avoidance of unintentional doping. Overall, the magnitude of associations by implicit doping attitude appeared to be stronger than that of explicit doping attitude. Conclusions: Athletes with positive implicit and explicit doping attitudes were less likely to read the ingredients table of an unknown food product, but were more likely to be aware of the possible presence of banned substances in a certain food product. Implicit doping attitude appeared to explain athletes’ behavioural response to the avoidance of unintentional doping beyond variance explained by explicit doping attitude.
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