An Empirical Test of the Self-Talk Dissonance Hypothesis: The Effects of Self-Talk Overtness and Personality on Performance

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 Wuhan Sports University
  • 2 Springfield College
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According to the sport-specific model of self-talk, self-talk dissonance occurs when a mismatch between gut feelings/impressions and self-talk creates discomfort and disrupts performance. The purpose of this study was to test the sport-specific model of self-talk’s dissonance hypothesis by examining the effects of self-talk on introverts (n = 28), who may be uncomfortable speaking their self-talk aloud, and on extraverts (n = 30). Each participant completed a dart-throwing target task using (a) overt and (b) covert self-talk in a counterbalanced order. Results of analysis of covariance indicated a significant interaction that supported the sport-specific model of self-talk’s dissonance hypothesis. Introverts performed better when using covert (private) self-talk, and extraverts performed better when using overt self-talk. The results of this research show that self-talk dissonance adversely affects performance and suggests that tailoring self-talk interventions by incorporating personal factors into intervention designs could enhance intervention effectiveness and performance outcomes.

Hong is with the Hubei Key Laboratory of Exercise Training and Monitoring, College of Health Sciences; Liao, Shi, and Zhao, the Graduate school; and Qi, the College of Health Sciences, Wuhan Sports University, Wuhan, Hubei, China. Van Raalte is with the Dept. of Psychology, Springfield College, Springfield, MA, USA, and Wuhan Sports University, Wuhan, Hubei, China.

Van Raalte (jvanraal@springfieldcollege.edu) is corresponding author.
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