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Psyched: Inner Views of Winning

Glyn C. Roberts

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Editorial Comment

Edited by Glyn C. Roberts

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Editorial Comment

Edited by Glyn C. Roberts

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Sport Psychology in the German Democratic Republic: An Interview with Dr. Gerd Konzag

Glyn C. Roberts and Jay C. Kimiecik

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Cognitive and Affective Concomitants of Task and Ego Goal Orientations during the Middle School Years

Darren C. Treasere and Glyn C. Roberts

Recent research with young adolescents (Duda, Fox, Biddle, & Armstrong, 1992) and with older adolescents (Duda, 1989) has reported a conceptually coherent relationship between individuals' achievement goal orientations and their beliefs about competitive sport. The purpose of the present study was to extend this line of research and examine the cognitive and affective concomitants of task and ego goal orientations (Nicholls, 1980, 1984, 1989) at three different ages during adolescence. Specifically, beliefs about the purposes of sport, causes of success, and satisfaction in sport were examined. A robust pattern of results emerged from canonical correlation procedures. For all three ages, a task orientation was related to prosocial and adaptive achievement beliefs about sport participation. In contrast, an ego orientation was related to negative social aspects and maladaptive achievement beliefs about sport involvement. The results suggest that a task orientation is likely to facilitate adaptive cognitive and affective patterns in competitive sport during adolescence.

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Causal Attributions in Sport: Some Theoretical Implications

Glyn C. Roberts and Debbie Pascuzzi

Previous sport attribution studies have generally asked subjects to make attributions for outcomes to the four elements of ability, effort, luck, and task difficulty. These studies have assumed that these elements are the most important causes of outcomes. The present study tested this assumption. An open-ended questionnaire was given to 349 male and female subjects to determine the causal elements used in sport situations. Results showed that the four traditional elements of ability, effort, luck, and task difficulty were used 45% of the time. However, the theory advocated by Weiner (1974) is based on the dimensions of locus of control and stability, and not on the elements per se. When the responses of subjects were content analyzed for dimensional properties, it was concluded that 100% of the responses could be placed within the four cells of the Weiner model. These results support the applicability of the Weiner achievement behavior model to sport environments, but only when careful analysis of causal attributions is made to determine their dimensional relevance. The evidence suggests that situationally relevant elements be included in addition to the traditional elements of ability, effort, luck, and task difficulty.

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Goal Orientations and Perceptions of the Sport Experience

Marc R. Lochbaum and Glyn C. Roberts

Nicholas (1984a, 1984b, 1989) conceptual framework was used to study the relationship between two implicit goal orientations (task and ego) and achievement behaviors. This study examined the relationship between the goal orientations and (a) beliefs concerning determinants of success, (b) competition and practice strategies, (c) practice benefits, and (d) enjoyment. Subjects were 182 male and 114 female high school athletes who competed in at least one sport during the 1989–1990 school year. Factor analyses were conducted to determine the composition of the relevant factors. Ten factors emerged. Canonical analysis was employed to determine the relationship between goal orientations and the 10 subscales. The results, consistent with the hypotheses, showed that athletes with a task orientation focused on adaptive achievement strategies whereas athletes with an ego orientation focused on potentially maladaptive achievement strategies. The implications of the results to sport participation are discussed.

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Motivation in Physical Activity Contexts: The Relationship of Perceived Motivational Climate to Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Efficacy

Maria Kavussanu and Glyn C. Roberts

This study examined the relationship between perceived motivational climate and intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy and determined the role of goal orientation and perceived motivational climate in predicting intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy. College students (N = 285) enrolled in beginning tennis classes completed a battery of questionnaires assessing perceived motivational climate, goal orientation, intrinsic motivation, self-efficacy, and perceived ability. Perceptions of mastery climate were positively associated with enjoyment, effort, perceived competence, and self-efficacy and were inversely related to tension. In males, dispositional goal orientation and perceived motivational climate emerged as equally important predictors of intrinsic motivation, while mastery motivational climate was the only significant predictor of self-efficacy. In females, performance motivational climate was the strongest predictor of intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy. Perceived normative ability accounted for a substantial amount of unique variance in intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy in both males and females. The motivational implications of the findings are discussed, and directions for future research are provided.

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Ambiguity of Outcome and Causal Attributions

Kevin S. Spink and Glyn C. Roberts

Previous research in the attributional analysis of individuals involved in athletic settings has typically used objective outcome as the primary determinant of causal attributions. Recent theorizing has suggested that objective outcome may not be the most adequate way of defining success and failure. Rather, success and failure may be more aptly described in terms of an individual's subjective perception of the implications of outcome for desirable personal qualities, especially ability. A field study was conducted to assess the effects of perceived outcome on the causal attributions of racquetball players. Prior to participating in a competitive two-person racquetball game, individuals indicated their expectancy of success against their opponent. Following the game, individuals rated their performance satisfaction, own competency, their opponent's competency, as well as rating the extent to which the outcome was due to internal or external factors. The results showed that the clearly perceived outcomes were attributed internally, while the ambiguous outcomes were attributed externally. The finding suggests that objective outcome may not be the best determinant of success and failure causal attributions.

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Moral Functioning in Sport: An Achievement Goal Perspective

Maria Kavussanu and Glyn C. Roberts

This study examined the role of achievement goals on indices of moral functioning (i.e., moral judgment, intention and behavior), unsportsmanlike attitudes, and judgments about the legitimacy of intentionally injurious acts in college basketball players. Male (n = 56) and female (n = 143) athletes completed questionnaires assessing the aforementioned variables. Multivariate analysis of variance revealed significant differences according to gender on the variables of interest. Specifically, male athletes reported higher ego orientation, lower task orientation, lower levels of moral functioning, and greater approval of unsportsmanlike behaviors, and they were more likely than females to judge injurious acts as legitimate. For the female sample, canonical correlation analysis indicated the presence of a significant but weak relationship between goal orientations and the set of moral variables. Higher ego orientation was related to lower levels of the judgment and intention indices of moral functioning and greater acceptance of intentionally injurious acts. Although this relationship was significant, the strength of the association between the two sets of variables accounted for only 9% of the variance in the set of moral variables.