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Sports Psychology – Audience Effects

2. The Home Advantage

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about the impact of a home advantage or disadvantage, focusing in particular on: (i) anecdotal evidence that home nation Olympic teams typically perform better during that year than during years where they are not the home nation; (ii) football premier league statistics, which have found that the home team typically perform better than the away team; (iii) some key explanatory factors for the home advantage, including familiarity with the environment and routine, territorial factors, tactics implemented on the basis of the home advantage existing, the fatigue that comes with travelling to away games, referee bias generated by increased audience pressure and increased crowd support; (iv) the potential for a home crowd to disrupt performance and confidence in the away team; (v) the potential for the expectations and pressure to hinder the performance of a home team; (vi) the research opportunity which the COVID-19 pandemic provided, which demonstrated the lack of home advantage without the crowd.


In this course, Dr Matthew Slater (Staffordshire University) explores audience effects on athlete performance. In the first lecture, we think about the specific effects that the presence of an audience can have on athlete performance, including Triplett’s social facilitation theory and Zajonc’s drive theory. In the second lecture, we think about the positive impacts of a home advantage on the home team, the negative impacts that the home team’s advantage can have on the away team, as well as some potential hindrances playing an at home game can have on the home team’s performance. Next, we think about Zajonc and colleagues’ 1969 study, which explored social facilitation in cockroaches. In the fourth and final lecture, we think about strategies to improve team performance, focusing on inoculation and personal disclosure and mutual sharing (PDMS).


Dr Matthew Slater is associate professor in the School of Health, Science and Wellbeing at Staffordshire University. Dr Slater’s research interests include the social identity approach to leadership, team functioning and psychophysiological responses to stress. Some of Dr Slater’s recent publications include 'Cognitive appraisals and team performance under stress: A simulation study' (2020) and 'A brief mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) intervention: investigating the effects with recreational runners' (2020).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Slater, M. (2022, May 03). Sports Psychology – Audience Effects - The Home Advantage [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Slater, M. "Sports Psychology – Audience Effects – The Home Advantage." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 03 May 2022,

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