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Affective Evaluations of Exercising: The Role of Automatic–Reflective Evaluation Discrepancy

Ralf Brand and Franziska Antoniewicz

Sometimes our automatic evaluations do not correspond well with those we can reflect on and articulate. We present a novel approach to the assessment of automatic and reflective affective evaluations of exercising. Based on the assumptions of the associative-propositional processes in evaluation model, we measured participants’ automatic evaluations of exercise and then shared this information with them, asked them to reflect on it and rate eventual discrepancy between their reflective evaluation and the assessment of their automatic evaluation. We found that mismatch between self-reported ideal exercise frequency and actual exercise frequency over the previous 14 weeks could be regressed on the discrepancy between a relatively negative automatic and a more positive reflective evaluation. This study illustrates the potential of a dual-process approach to the measurement of evaluative responses and suggests that mistrusting one’s negative spontaneous reaction to exercise and asserting a very positive reflective evaluation instead leads to the adoption of inflated exercise goals.

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The Digest

Kim Gammage, Rachel Arnold, Jennifer Brunet, Lori Dithurbide, Mary Jung, Lindsay Kipp, Larkin Lamarche, Luc Martin, Tara-Leigh McHugh, Katherine Tamminen, and Kathleen Wilson

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An Exercise in Resistance: Inoculation Messaging as a Strategy for Protecting Motivation During a Monotonous and Controlling Exercise Class

James A. Dimmock, Marylène Gagné, Lauren Proud, Timothy C. Howle, Amanda L. Rebar, and Ben Jackson

Sustained attention has been devoted to studying the factors that support (or thwart) individuals’ enjoyment of, interest in, and value judgments regarding their exercise activities. We employed a resistance-inducing (i.e., inoculation theory) messaging technique with the aim of protecting these desirable perceptions in the face of environmental conditions designed to undermine one’s positive exercise experiences. Autonomously motivated exercisers (N = 146, M age = 20.57, SD = 4.02) performed a 25-min, group-based, instructor-led exercise circuit, in which the activities were deliberately monotonous, and during which the confederate instructor acted in a disinterested, unsupportive, and critical manner. Shortly before the session, participants received either a control message containing general information about the exercise class or an inoculation message containing a forewarning about potential challenges to participants’ enjoyment/interest/value perceptions during the class, as well as information about how participants might maintain positive perceptions in the face of these challenges. Despite there being no between-conditions differences in presession mood or general exercise motives, inoculated (relative to control) participants reported greater interest/enjoyment in the exercise session and higher perceptions of need support from the instructor. Perceptions of need support mediated the relationship between message condition and interest/enjoyment.

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Interpersonal Emotion Regulation Among Adolescent Athletes: A Bayesian Multilevel Model Predicting Sport Enjoyment and Commitment

Katherine A. Tamminen, Patrick Gaudreau, Carolyn E. McEwen, and Peter R.E. Crocker

Efforts to regulate emotions can influence others, and interpersonal emotion regulation within teams may affect athletes’ own affective and motivational outcomes. We examined adolescent athletes’ (N = 451, N teams = 38) self- and interpersonal emotion regulation, as well as associations with peer climate, sport enjoyment, and sport commitment within a multilevel model of emotion regulation in teams. Results of multilevel Bayesian structural equation modeling showed that athletes’ self-worsening emotion regulation strategies were negatively associated with enjoyment while other-improving emotion regulation strategies were positively associated enjoyment and commitment. The team-level interpersonal emotion regulation climate and peer motivational climates were also associated with enjoyment and commitment. Team-level factors moderated some of the relationships between athletes’ emotion regulation with enjoyment and commitment. These findings extend previous research by examining interpersonal emotion regulation within teams using a multilevel approach, and they demonstrate the importance of person- and team-level factors for athletes’ enjoyment and commitment.

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Volume 38 (2016): Issue 6 (Dec 2016)

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Linking Narcissism, Motivation, and Doping Attitudes in Sport: A Multilevel Investigation Involving Coaches and Athletes

Doris Matosic, Nikos Ntoumanis, Ian David Boardley, Andreas Stenling, and Constantine Sedikides

Research on coaching (Bartholomew, Ntoumanis, & Thøgersen-Ntoumani, 2009) has shown that coaches can display controlling behaviors that have detrimental effects on athletes’ basic psychological needs and quality of sport experiences. The current study extends this literature by considering coach narcissism as a potential antecedent of coaches’ controlling behaviors. Further, the study tests a model linking coaches’ (n = 59) own reports of narcissistic tendencies with athletes’ (n = 493) perceptions of coach controlling behaviors, experiences of need frustration, and attitudes toward doping. Multilevel path analysis revealed that coach narcissism was directly and positively associated with athletes’ perceptions of controlling behaviors and was indirectly and positively associated with athletes’ reports of needs frustration. In addition, athletes’ perceptions of coach behaviors were positively associated—directly and indirectly—with attitudes toward doping. The findings advance understanding of controlling coach behaviors, their potential antecedents, and their associations with athletes’ attitudes toward doping.

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Moderators of Implicit–Explicit Exercise Cognition Concordance

Tanya R. Berry, Wendy M. Rodgers, David Markland, and Craig R. Hall

Investigating implicit–explicit concordance can aid in understanding underlying mechanisms and possible intervention effects. This research examined the concordance between implicit associations of exercise with health or appearance and related explicit motives. Variables considered as possible moderators were behavioral regulations, explicit attitudes, and social desirability. Participants (N = 454) completed measures of implicit associations of exercise with health and appearance and questionnaire measures of health and appearance motives, attitudes, social desirability, and behavioral regulations. Attitudes significantly moderated the relationship between implicit associations of exercise with health and health motives. Identified regulations significantly moderated implicit–explicit concordance with respect to associations with appearance. These results suggest that implicit and explicit exercise-related cognitions are not necessarily independent and their relationship to each other may be moderated by attitudes or some forms of behavioral regulation. Future research that takes a dual-processing approach to exercise behavior should consider potential theoretical moderators of concordance.

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Nonverbal Communication of Confidence in Soccer Referees: An Experimental Test of Darwin’s Leakage Hypothesis

Philip Furley and Geoffrey Schweizer

The goal of the present paper was to investigate whether soccer referees’ nonverbal behavior (NVB) differed based on the difficulty of their decisions and whether perceivers could detect these systematic variations. On the one hand, communicating confidence via NVB is emphasized in referee training. On the other hand, it seems feasible from a theoretical point of view that particularly following relatively difficult decisions referees have problems controlling their NVB. We conducted three experiments to investigate this question. Experiment 1 (N = 40) and Experiment 2 (N = 60) provided evidence that perceivers regard referees’ NVB as less confident following ambiguous decisions as compared with following unambiguous decisions. Experiment 3 (N = 58) suggested that perceivers were more likely to debate with the referee when referees nonverbally communicated less confidence. We discuss consequences for referee training.

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Students’ Motivational Profiles in the Physical Education Context

John C.K. Wang, Alexandre J.S. Morin, Richard M. Ryan, and W.C. Liu

The purpose of the current study is to test the self-determination theory (SDT) continuum hypothesis of motivation using latent profile analysis (LPA). A total of 3,220 school students took part in the study. We compared LPA solutions estimated using the four motivation types versus the two higher-order dimensions to assess their degree of correspondence to the SDT continuum hypothesis. To examine the concurrent validity of the profiles, we also verified their associations with three predictors (age, gender, perception of physical education teachers’ autonomy-supportive behaviors) and two outcomes variables (perceived competence and intentions to be physically active). The results showed that profiling using the four motivation types provides more differentiated and meaningful description of responses to the Perceived Locus of Causality Scale, compared with profiling using two higher-order factors. In general, the results of the current study were consistent with the SDT continuum hypothesis of human motivation.

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The Thin Line: A Phenomenological Study of Mental Toughness and Decision Making in Elite High-Altitude Mountaineers

Lee Crust, Christian Swann, and Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson

Mental toughness (MT) is a key psychological variable related to achievement in performance domains and perseverance in challenging circumstances. We sought to understand the lived experiences of mentally tough high-altitude mountaineers, focusing primarily upon decisions to persevere or abort summit attempts. Phenomenological interviews were conducted with 14 mountaineers including guides, expedition leaders, and doctors (M age = 44 years). A content analysis was employed to identify key themes in the data. Participants emphasized the importance of MT in extreme environments and described rational, flexible, and vigilant decision-making. Turning around without summiting was the toughest decision reported, with recognition of the thin line between persevering and overstretching. In contrast to much MT literature, mountaineers accepted limits, demonstrated restraint, and sacrificed personal goals to aid others. Costly perseverance was also reported with some mountaineers described as “too tough”: overcompetitive, goal-obsessed, and biased decision-makers. These findings revealed both benefits and dangers of MT in mountaineering.