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Kim Gammage, Jeff Caron, Alyson Crozier, Alison Ede, Matt Hoffman, Christopher Hill, Sean Locke, Desi McEwan, Kathleen Mellano, Eva Pila, Matthew Stork, and Svenja Wolf

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Collective Emotions in Doubles Table Tennis

Alexander W.J. Freemantle, Lorenzo D. Stafford, Christopher R.D. Wagstaff, and Lucy Akehurst

Researchers have shown that the emotions that athletes experience during sporting competition can be transferred between team members to create collective team emotional states. Nevertheless, collective emotions have not yet been investigated for sporting dyads. In this study, the emotional experiences of 68 doubles table tennis players (34 dyads) were examined at three time points: precompetition, in-competition, and postcompetition. It was found that the intensity of each emotional state differed as a function of match situation (positive/negative). Moreover, in-competition anxiety, dejection, and anger were shown to predict poorer subjective performance, and anxiety was shown to negatively impact future objective athlete performance. Most pertinently, within-dyad emotional aggregation was identified for athlete in-competition happiness and dejection and for postcompetition happiness, dejection, and anger. These findings represent the first quantitative evidence of emotional convergence in sport dyads and provide support for the social functional theory of emotion in sport.

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The Influence of Affective Priming on the Affective Response During Exercise: A Replication Study

Sinika Timme, Jasmin Hutchinson, Anton Regorius, and Ralf Brand

The affective response during exercise is an important factor for long-term exercise adherence. Pottratz et al. suggested affective priming as a behavioral intervention for the enhancement of exercise-related affect. The present paper aims to replicate and extend upon these findings. We conducted a close replication with 53 participants completing a brisk walking task in two conditions (prime vs. no prime). Affective valence was assessed during exercise, and exercise enjoyment and remembered/forecasted pleasure were assessed postexercise. We could not replicate the findings of Pottratz et al., finding no evidence for positive changes in psychological responses in the priming condition. However, linear mixed models demonstrated significant interindividual differences in how participants responded to priming. These results demonstrate that affective priming during exercise does not work for everyone under every circumstance and, thus, provide an important contribution to the understanding of boundary conditions and moderating factors for priming in exercise psychology.

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Volume 44 (2022): Issue 3 (Jun 2022)

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Brain Stimulation Over the Motion-Sensitive Midtemporal Area Reduces Deleterious Effects of Mental Fatigue on Perceptual–Cognitive Skills in Basketball Players

Leonardo S. Fortes, Maria E.C. Ferreira, Heloiana Faro, Eduardo M. Penna, and Sebastião S. Almeida

The objective of this study was to analyze the effect of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (a-tDCS) over the motion-sensitive midtemporal area on perceptual–cognitive skills (visuomotor and basketball decision-making skills) in mentally fatigued basketball players. A total of 20 male basketball players were recruited. This was a randomized, double-blinded, and counterbalanced crossover study with two experimental conditions: a-tDCS and Sham. The participants completed the basketball decision-making task and visuomotor skill after performing a 60-min sport-based videogame task with anodal (i.e., a-tDCS) or placebo (Sham) stimulation over the motion-sensitive middle temporal area. Worse response time was observed in visuomotor skill for Sham than a-tDCS postexperiment (p < .05). There was no main condition effect for accuracy of visuomotor skill (p > .05). There was more impairment in accuracy and response time in basketball decision-making skills for the Sham condition than a-tDCS (p < .05). Notably, a-tDCS over the motion-sensitive middle temporal area removed the negative effects of mental fatigue on perceptual–cognitive skills.

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Glimpsing the Impossible: How Artificially Enhanced Targets Improve Elite Performance

Mark A. Robinson

In 2009, elite swimming introduced polyurethane “supersuits,” which artificially enhanced performances and facilitated 43 world records at the World Championships, before being prohibited from 2010. This transient, artificial improvement spike created a natural experiment to examine the effect of “impossible” targets on subsequent performances. Analyses revealed that swimming speeds at global championships in the postsupersuit period (2011–2017) were substantially faster than predicted from the presupersuit period (2000–2007). These results suggest that the transient, artificially enhanced performances of the supersuit era recalibrated targets upward—acting as goals—and improved subsequent performances beyond previous trajectories (d = 0.64; 0.70%). Contributing to psychological goal-setting theory, the positive relationship between the size of the transient, artificial improvement (i.e., goal difficulty) and subsequent performance was curvilinear, increasing at a decreasing rate before improvements plateaued. Overall, the research demonstrates the potential for elite athletes to exceed perceived human limits after expectations have been recalibrated upward.

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Longitudinal Associations Between Athletes’ Psychological Needs and Burnout Across a Competitive Season: A Latent Difference Score Analysis

Stephen Shannon, Garry Prentice, Noel Brick, Gerard Leavey, and Gavin Breslin

Participation in sport can paradoxically be a source of psychological needs satisfaction and psychological needs frustration. Self-determination theory was applied to explain temporal relationships of athletes’ psychological needs satisfactions and psychological needs frustrations with burnout through a two-wave longitudinal study. Participants included 184 athletes (M age = 24.04 years, SD = 5.56, 67.9% male) representing a range of competitive levels. A latent difference score model specifying longitudinal relationships between burnout and needs satisfactions and needs frustrations was tested. Significant within-variable changes were observed for all needs-satisfaction and needs-frustration variables. Longitudinal associations were found in Models 3 (autonomy frustration) and 6 (relatedness satisfaction). Higher burnout at baseline predicted an increase in autonomy frustration (β = 0.13, p < .05), whereas higher relatedness satisfaction at baseline reduced burnout levels later in the season (β = −0.22, p < .001). To conclude, continuous tracking of athlete burnout levels and fostering of needs-supportive climates that minimize autonomy-controlling behaviors are recommended for the burnout prevention in athletes.

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Volume 44 (2022): Issue S1 (May 2022)

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North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity

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Attitudes of Sport Fans Toward the Electronic Sign-Stealing Scandal in Major League Baseball: Differing Associations With Perfectionism and Excellencism

Patrick Gaudreau and Benjamin J.I. Schellenberg

The winners of the 2017 World Series were found guilty of illegally using electronic devices to steal the signs of their opponents. Many but not all sport fans negatively reacted to this cheating incident. We relied on the model of excellencism and perfectionism to determine if perfection strivers are less unfavorable toward electronic sign stealing (cheating) compared with excellence strivers. Sport fans (N = 321) completed a measure of excellencism and perfectionism. We used three different approaches to measure attitudes toward electronic sign stealing in baseball. Results of a multivariate multiple regression showed that sport fans who are perfection strivers held more favorable attitudes toward electronic sign stealing compared with excellence strivers. Perfection strivers also reported higher moral disengagement and winning-at-all-cost mentality. These findings are insightful because they indicate that perfectionistic standards significantly relate to sport cheating-related attitudes once we separate excellencism from perfectionism.