Antecedents of Self-Related Affects in Sport: Preliminary Evidence on the Intuitive-Reflective Appraisal Model

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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In line with various cognitive theories of emotion, Vallerand (1983, 1984) has proposed an intuitive-reflective appraisal model for self-related affects in achievement situations. A fundamental postulate of the model states that it is the cognitive evaluation of events and not events per se that produces emotions. Such cognitive evaluation can be seen as intuitive (almost automatic) and reflective (deliberate) in nature. Whereas the intuitive appraisal is akin to one's almost automatic subjective assessment of performance, the reflective appraisal is hypothesized to include several forms: (a) intellectualization, (b) comparison (self, outcome, and social) processes, (c) mastery-related cognitions, (d) information processing functions, and (e) causal attributions. Two studies tested some of the model's postulates in field (Study 1) and laboratory (Study 2) settings. Results showed support for some of the model's postulates in that both the intuitive and reflective attributional appraisals were found to have important effects on self- and general-type affects. In addition, perceptions of success/failure (the intuitive appraisal of performance) had more potent effects on affects than did objective success/failure. On the other hand, the intellectualization reflective appraisal (task importance) did not have appreciable effects on affects. Results are discussed in light of the intuitive-reflective appraisal model, and implications for future studies on emotion in sport are underscored.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Robert J. Vallerand, Laboratory for Social Psychology, University of Quebec at Montreal, Montreal, P.Q., Canada, H3C 3P8.

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