Congruence of Actual and Retrospective Reports of Precompetition Emotions in Equestrians

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 Florida State University
  • | 2 University of Southern Queensland
  • | 3 Research Institute for Olympic Sports, Finland
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A study was carried out to examine the ability of equestrians to accurately report precompetition emotions and thoughts across varying time delays (3,7, and 14 days) after competition. Forty male and female dressage riders were randomly divided into two equal groups: participants who watched their videotaped precompetition routine before responding to the items, and participants who visualized the precompetition routine without any external aid. Each rider completed several questionnaires which measured emotions, items related to horses, and an open-ended question on thoughts and emotions at that moment. After a delay of 3,7, and 14 days, the riders were asked to respond to the same questions after imagining themselves preparing for the competition. Repeated-measures MANOVA indicate that though some decrease in emotional intensity was noted for some emotions in the retrospective report, the stability of reporting precompetition emotions was very high in all delay periods. The horse related items were reported particularly accurately. Watching the videotape did not improve the accuracy of the report. Content analysis, however, indicated that when measurement consisted of free report, many emotions and thoughts were added or omitted in the delayed modes. Ericsson and Simon’s (1980, 1984) verbal reports and protocol analysis conceptualization is used to elaborate upon these results.

G. Tenenbaum, Dept. of Educational Research, Florida State Univ., Tallahassee, FL 32306; M. Lloyd and G. Pretty, Dept of Psychology, Univ. of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba 4350, Australia; Y.L. Hanin, Research Institute for Olympic Sports, Raut-pohjankatu 6, 40700 Jyväskylä, Finland.

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