Ethos in Sports: An Aristotelian Examination Focused on Source Credibility and the Modern Day Athlete

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Dix, Andrew
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Middle Tennessee State University
De Gruyter Open
The current study analyzed source credibility in a sports related context. A review of previous literature was undertaken in order to highlight the central findings focused on the dimensions of competence, goodwill, and trust worthiness. Quantitative methods were then utilized as a means to empirically test whether unconfirmed reports of performance-enhancing drug use could negatively impact perceptions of athlete ethos. Findings revealed that athletes who were inconclusively linked to performance- enhancers were evaluated less favorably in terms of their overall competence, goodwill, and trustworthiness. The implications from this study indicate that clean athletes who are wrongfully accused should proactively communicate their innocence to the general public. Athletes who are not clean should employ various face and image restoration strategies in order to effectively manage their public credibility. Study limitations and directions for future research were appropriately addressed within the present scholarship.
Sports, Ethos, Aristotle, Communication, Perception
Sport Science Review. Volume 24, Issue 5-6, Pages 267–284, ISSN (Online) 2069-7244, DOI: 10.1515/ssr-2015-0019, December 2015