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Tim Woodman and Paul A. Davis

The role of repression in the incidence of ironic errors was investigated on a golf task. Coping styles of novice golfers were determined using measures of cognitive anxiety and physiological arousal. Following baseline putts, participants (n = 58) performed a competition putt with the opportunity to win UK£50 (approx. US$100). Before completing the competition putt participants were instructed to “land the ball on the target, but be particularly careful not to over-shoot the target.” The distance the ball traveled past the hole formed the measure of ironic effects. Probing of the coping style × condition interaction, F(2, 41) = 6.53, p < .005, revealed that only the repressors incurred a significant increase in ironic error for the competition putt. This suggests that the act of repressing anxiety has a detrimental performance effect.

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Tim Woodman, Matthew Barlow, and Recep Gorgulu

We present two novel tests of Wegner’s (1994) theory of ironic processes of mental control using a hockey penalty-shooting task (Study 1) and a dart throwing task (Study 2). In Study 1 we aimed to address a significant limitation of ironic effects research in a performance setting by differentiating nonironic performance error from specifically ironic performance error. When instructed not to miss in a specific direction, anxious performers did so a significantly greater number of times; importantly, there was no difference in nonironic error, which provides the first specific support for Wegner’s theory in a performance setting. In Study 2, we present the first examination of the precision of ironic errors. When anxious, participants performed not only more ironically but also performed more precisely in the to-be-avoided zone than when they were not anxious. We discuss the results in the context of the importance of specific instructions in coaching environments.

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Paul A. Davis, Louise Davis, Samuel Wills, Ralph Appleby, and Arne Nieuwenhuys

. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 13 , 291 – 302 . doi:10.1016/j.psychsport.2011.11.011 10.1016/j.psychsport.2011.11.011 Woodman , T. , & Davis , P.A. ( 2008 ). The role of repression in the incidence of ironic errors . The Sport Psychologist, 22 , 183 – 196 . doi:10.1123/tsp.22.2.183 10

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Robert Weinberg

trying not to think about a specific word continually blurt it out during rapid-fire word-association tests. These same “ironic errors” are just as easy to evoke in real world settings. Therefore, instructions such as “whatever you do, don’t double-fault now,” “don’t drive the ball into the bunker or

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Kendra Nelson Ferguson, Craig Hall, and Alison Divine

ironic errors of performance: Task instruction matters . Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 41 ( 2 ), 82 – 95 . PubMed ID: 31027456 doi:10.1123/jsep.2018-0268 10.1123/jsep.2018-0268 Hall , C. , Mack , D. , Paivio , A. , & Hausenblas