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Moira Lafferty and Caroline Wakefield

The aim of this study was to explore female student athletes’ participation in initiation activities, specifically to examine whether activities in the United Kingdom followed trends similar to those reported elsewhere. A sample of 8 female athletes representing both traditional and nontraditional team and individual sports (M age = 20 yr 3 mo, SD = 1 yr 3 mo) who met inclusion criteria of having taken part in an initiation ceremony consented to participate in a semistructured interview. Thematic content analysis resulted in the emergence of 6 higher order themes represented by 2 general dimensions: the initiation event and initiation outcomes. Findings indicated that female student athletes’ initiation activities encompassed discrete stages as they moved from team newcomers to accepted team members. Of particular concern is the direct and indirect role of alcohol in these events and the health and behavioral risks.

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Caroline Wakefield and Dave Smith

Imagery is one of the most widely-researched topics in sport psychology. Recent research has been focused on how imagery works and how to apply it to have the greatest possible performance effect. However, the amount of imagery needed to produce optimal effects has been under-researched, particularly in relation to the PETTLEP model of imagery (Holmes & Collins, 2001). This study examined the effects of differing frequencies of PETTLEP imagery on bicep curl performance, using a single-case design. Following a baseline period, participants completed PETTLEP imagery 1×/week, 2×/week, or 3×/week in a counterbalanced pattern. Results indicated that PETTLEP imagery had a positive effect on performance. In addition, as the frequency of imagery increased, a larger performance effect was apparent. These results support the notion that PETTLEP imagery can lead to strength gains if performed at least 1× per week, but that completing imagery more frequently may be more effective.

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James W. Roberts, Nicholas Gerber, Caroline J. Wakefield, and Philip J. Simmonds

The failure of perceptual illusions to elicit corresponding biases within movement supports the view of two visual pathways separately contributing to perception and action. However, several alternative findings may contest this overarching framework. The present study aimed to examine the influence of perceptual illusions within the planning and control of aiming. To achieve this, we manipulated and measured the planning/control phases by respectively perturbing the target illusion (relative size-contrast illusion; Ebbinghaus/Titchener circles) following movement onset and detecting the spatiotemporal characteristics of the movement trajectory. The perceptual bias that was indicated by the perceived target size estimates failed to correspondingly manifest within the effective target size. While movement time (specifically, time after peak velocity) was affected by the target configuration, this outcome was not consistent with the direction of the perceptual illusions. These findings advocate an influence of the surrounding contextual information (e.g., annuli) on movement control that is independent of the direction predicted by the illusion.