A Dynamical Systems Perspective on Goal Involvement States in Sport

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 University of Montpellier I
  • | 2 University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis
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Based on the dynamical systems perspective, the present study aimed to explore how states of involvement toward mastery, performance-approach, and performance-avoidance goals (Elliot & Church, 1997) flow, are interrelated, and are activated during a practice judo combat. Using a retrospective video recall method, two male national level judo competitors expressed on a computer their moment-to-moment level of involvement toward each goal. Self-confrontation interviews also based on the video were immediately conducted. Analyses of variance revealed differences in levels of each goal between periods of the combat. Windowed cross-correlation analyses showed that the patterns of relationships between the time series of the different goals considered two-by-two included either high positive, high negative, or zero correlations, depending on the moment. Qualitative data analyses supported these findings and suggested that goal involvement states emerged and fluctuated according to the ecological constraints of the situation, such as the initial contextual conditions and the course of action.

C. Gernigon, D. Delignières, and G. Ninot are with the Dept. of Sport and Physical Education Sciences, UFR STAPS, University of Montpellier I, 700 ave. du Pic-Saint-Loup, 34090 Montpellier, France; F. d’Arripe-Longueville is with the Dept. of Sport Sciences, UFR STAPS, University of Nice Sophia-Antipolis, 261 route de Grenoble, BP 259, 06200 Nice, France.