Collective efficacy in sport: the future from a social neuroscience perspective

David Shearer, Paul Holmes, Stephen Mellalieu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the last decade, collective efficacy has received increasing attention in the sport psychology literature. However, despite considerable focus on the antecedents and consequences of the construct (e.g., Magyar, Feltz, and Simpson, 2004), no research has considered the specific neuropsychological mechanisms that underpin the levels of collective efficacy perceived by individuals within sports teams. In this respect, neuroscience research outside sport psychology has identified cortical structures linked to socio-cognitive thought processes (e.g., Gallese, Keysers, and Rizzolati, 2004). Therefore, the purpose of this review is to provide evidence for potential neurological processes that underpin collective efficacy perceptions. Specifically, we discuss these processes in relation to how collective efficacy is conceptualized, measured, and analyzed. We then discuss pertinent neuroscience research that indicates both imagery and observation based interventions are suitable for increasing individual collective efficacy perceptions. Finally, based on the neuroscience mechanisms discussed, future directions for research are suggested that aim to increase our understanding of the nature and influence of collective efficacy perceptions upon individual and team behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38 - 53
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2009


  • sport psychology
  • collective efficacy
  • neuroscience
  • imagery
  • Observation


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