Awareness and Motivation to Change Negative Self-Talk

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James Hardy Bangor University

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Ross Roberts Bangor University

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Lew Hardy Bangor University

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This study examined the effectiveness of a logbook and paperclip technique on awareness of the use and content of negative self-talk as well as the motivation to change negative self-talk. Participants (n = 73) completed a questionnaire measuring these variables, and were assigned to either a control, paperclip or logbook group. Participants performed three typical training sessions over a three-week period. The logbook group completed a self-talk logbook after each session whereas the paperclip group carried out a paperclip exercise during each session. Upon completion of the training sessions, the questionnaire was readministered. ANCOVAs revealed no significant differences between the groups for motivation to change and awareness of the content of negative self-talk. However, the logbook group had significantly greater awareness of their use of negative self-talk compared with the control group. A qualitative analysis of the logbook group’s use of negative self-talk provided insights into the situations that prompted negative self-talk, the content of the self-talk, and also the consequences of using negative self-talk. Collectively, the findings offer some support for the use of the logbook technique in the applied setting.

Hardy, Roberts, and Hardy are with the Institute for the Psychology of Elite Performance, School of Sport, Health, and Exercise Sciences, Bangor University, Bangor, Wales LL57 2PZ, UK.

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