Several attributions biases in psychology can be applied to sport, including self-serving, action bias, and so-called “hot hand.” The self-serving bias is associated with accepting credit for success while blaming external factors and circumstances or others for failure. For instance, players of a football team take credit for the match they have won but blame lousy weather or the judge’s incompetence when they lose. The action bias is associated with people’s preference to act over inaction, even if the action does not lead to a positive outcome. For example, a basketball player throws the ball to the ring even when they are not in a proper position to score a point. Finally, “the hot hand” bias is related to the belief that when a person succeeds, they have increased chances of success in their further attempts. For instance, when a volleyball player successfully returns the ball during the match, they are more likely to do it again.
In addition, external rewards may influence performance in sport in different ways. The first possible impact is related to enhancing motivation since a desirable prize may motivate people to do their best. For example, when victory in the football match guarantees a reward that a player wants to receive, it increases their willingness to win and enhances their morale. The second impact that external rewards may have on performance is directing people to take particular actions. For instance, there is a guaranteed prize for making a field goal from the center circle of the field in a basketball match, even if the game is lost. In this case, the players will try to throw the ball to the ring from the center circle over other positions to earn the reward. These examples illustrate how external rewards can impact players’ performance in sports and affect matches.