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JoAnn Reis and Anne Marie Bird

This two part investigation tested whether or not a self-report measure of broad or narrow attentional style (i.e., the BET and RED subscales of the Test of Attentional and Interpersonal Style-TAIS) could predict cue-processing ability on a task that required processing of peripheral cues. In Experiment 1, it was hypothesized that broad attenders would be superior to narrow attenders. Two separate probe techniques were used to measure peripheral cue processing. Results indicated marginal support for the prediction on the first probe and strong support on the second probe. In Experiment 2, subjects received either positive or negative false feedback in an attempt to manipulate level of anxiety and to observe the subsequent effects on the cue-processing ability of broad and narrow attenders. Broad attenders who received positive feedback processed peripheral cues faster than all other subjects. Findings were discussed within the framework of Kahneman's capacity theory of attention and the desirability of employing a precise operational definition of attention within individual difference research.

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Anne Marie Bird and Melanie A. Horn

This investigation tested the relationship between level of cognitive anxiety and degree of mental errors in a sport setting. Subjects were female high school varsity softball players. The dimensions of cognitive anxiety, somatic anxiety, and self-confidence were assessed by the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2). Coaches evaluated mental errors during game play by ratings on a 10-point bipolar scale. Final subject selection was determined by dichotomizing individuals who scored lower on the scale (1-4) and higher on the scale (7-10). Analysis of variance yielded a single significant main effect which indicated that the two mental-error groups differed in cognitive anxiety. This supports the major prediction tested. Discussion centers on the apparent benefits of investigating variables more intimately associated with the attentional/cognitive disruption process versus focusing solely on objective sport outcome.

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Anne Marie Bird, Constance D. Foster and Geoffrey Maruyama

Midseason and postseason measures taken from female collegiate basketball players provided information about their perception of team cohesion, personal and team success, and attributions for their own and their team's performance. First, it was hypothesized that players from highly cohesive teams show more consistency between self and team attributions than players from teams with low cohesion. This prediction received partial support, in that at the end of their season, players on cohesive teams demonstrated greater convergence between attributions for self and team than did players from less cohesive teams. Players associated with less cohesive teams made greater luck attributions and lesser task attributions for their performance than for the performance of their team. No significant differences were found for either effort or ability attributions. The second hypothesis predicted that cohesion influences players' team attributions over and above any influence of team outcome. Only for unsuccessful teams did cohesion affect attributions independently of team outcome. Finally, Schlenker and Miller's (1977b) notion of “fairness” in self-attributions as a function of high cohesion was explored.