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    Developing Decision Making in Rugby Union Match Officials Using Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)

    Maxwell-Keys, Craig, Wood, Andrew and Turner, Martin ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1975-5561 (2021) Developing Decision Making in Rugby Union Match Officials Using Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 58. ISSN 1469-0292

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    Abstract

    There is a dearth of applied research to inform psychological provision for match-officials. The application of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT; Ellis, 1957) is becoming established as an effective psychological intervention with elite performers. This paper examined the effects of four one-to-one REBT sessions on irrational beliefs, anxiety, decision rumination and reinvestment, and match officiating performance with two elite rugby match officials. Using an idiographic single-case, staggered multiple-baseline across participants research design, visual and statistical analyses showed that the intervention brought about significant, immediate and maintained (12 week follow-up) reductions in irrational beliefs. Furthermore, participants also reported reductions in anxiety, and decision making reinvestment, alongside increased match official performance for one participant. The current study lends some initial support for the application of REBT with match officials, and develops understanding into potential links between irrational beliefs and decision making performance. The results are discussed in terms of theory, applied implications, limitations and future research.

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