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Christophe Gernigon and Jean-Baptiste Delloye

The influence of an unexpected outcome in a first sprint trial on athletes’ selfefficacy and performance, and the relationships between outcome, causal attribution, self-efficacy, and performance were examined. Sixty-two national level competition sprinters assessed self-efficacy, ran a first 60 m trial with manipulated time feedback (success vs. failure), expressed causal attributions, assessed self-efficacy again, and ran a second 60 m trial. Success and failure, respectively, increased and decreased self-efficacy. Stability of causes mediated the feedback, self-efficacy relation for males. Personal control predicted self-efficacy for females. Performance was not influenced by feedback but was weakly predicted by self-efficacy. This study sheds light on some of the cognitive and motivational processes that are involved in serial sports events.

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Christophe Gernigon, Walid Briki and Katie Eykens

Borrowing the dynamical systems perspective, two studies aimed to examine the potential properties of nonlinearity and history dependence of psychological momentum. Male regional-level table tennis players were asked to empathize with players in a very important contest by watching two video scenarios of a table tennis game in two separate sessions. The videos presented two inverted scenarios in which score gaps gradually increased or decreased. Competitive anxiety, self-confidence (Study 1), and goal involvement states (Study 2) were measured before each point. Cognitive and somatic anxieties decreased linearly during the increasing scenario, but increased nonlinearly in the decreasing scenario. Mastery-avoidance goals decreased nonlinearly in the increasing scenario, increased nonlinearly in the decreasing scenario, and displayed a negative hysteresis pattern. These findings offer new insights into the dynamics of psychological momentum and suggest new avenues of research.

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Christophe Gernigon, Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville, Didier Delignières and Grégory Ninot

Based on the dynamical systems perspective, the present study aimed to explore how states of involvement toward mastery, performance-approach, and performance-avoidance goals (Elliot & Church, 1997) flow, are interrelated, and are activated during a practice judo combat. Using a retrospective video recall method, two male national level judo competitors expressed on a computer their moment-to-moment level of involvement toward each goal. Self-confrontation interviews also based on the video were immediately conducted. Analyses of variance revealed differences in levels of each goal between periods of the combat. Windowed cross-correlation analyses showed that the patterns of relationships between the time series of the different goals considered two-by-two included either high positive, high negative, or zero correlations, depending on the moment. Qualitative data analyses supported these findings and suggested that goal involvement states emerged and fluctuated according to the ecological constraints of the situation, such as the initial contextual conditions and the course of action.

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Pascal Legrain, Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville and Christophe Gernigon

This study examined the potential benefits of a peer tutoring program for tutors in a physical learning setting. Gender differences were also explored. Thirty-two college-age males and females identified as novices in a French boxing task were assigned in a 2 × 2, Gender × Training Type: Physical Practice (PP) versus Physical Practice associated with Peer Tutoring (PT) factorial design. All the participants were given six 2-hr French boxing lessons. The PT program included 6 min of peer coaching per lesson. Results indicated that the PT program entailed higher scores in boxing performance form, selfefficacy, interest-enjoyment, and personally controllable causal attributions and lower scores in tension-pressure. Males reported more certain expectancies and displayed higher performance outcomes than did females. Results are discussed in relation to the educational psychology literature.

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Pascal Legrain, Nicolas Gillet, Christophe Gernigon and Marc-André Lafreniere

The purpose of this study was to test an integrative model regarding the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) on achievement in physical education. Pupils’ perceptions of autonomy-support from teacher, satisfaction of basic psychological needs, and self-determined motivation were considered to mediate the impact of ICT on pupils’ cognitive skills and motor performance. Ninety-six pupils (44 boys and 52 girls; M age = 12.40 years) were assigned to either the ICT or the traditional teaching (TT) condition of a quasi-experimental design. Results from path analyses supported the hypotheses that: (a) perception of autonomy support from teachers satisfies pupils’ basic psychological needs; (b) basic needs satisfaction in turn leads to greater self-determined motivation, which (c) then contributes to the enhancement of cognitive skills and motor performance.

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Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville, Christophe Gernigon, Marie-Laure Huet, Fayda Winnykamen and Marielle Cadopi

The purposes of this study were to qualitatively analyze peer interaction in dyads practicing a swimming skill, and to examine the potential dyad type-by-gender differences in observed peer interaction modes. Sixty-four senior high school students (32 M, 32 F) trained for 8 min either in symmetrical (same competence) or asymmetrical (different competence levels) same-sex dyads. The numbers of attempts and performance scores were also documented for novices. The observed peer interaction modes consisted of guidance-tutoring, imitation, cooperation, and parallel activity. Multivariate and univariate analyses revealed that tutoring and imitation were manifested more in asymmetrical dyads, while cooperation and parallel activity were more frequent in symmetrical dyads. Males in symmetrical dyads displayed the most parallel activity. Males carried out more attempts than females. Regarding performance, males in asymmetrical dyads benefited more from training than the other groups did. Similarities and differences with findings observed in the academic domain are discussed.

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Guillaume R. Coudevylle, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis, Jean-Pierre Famose and Christophe Gernigon

The purpose of the present experiment was to examine whether the use of selfhandicapping strategies influences participants’ anxiety levels before athletic performance. Seventy-one competitive basketball players participated in the study. A repeated measures design was used, such that state cognitive and somatic anxiety intensity and direction were measured before and after participants were given the opportunity to self-handicap. Overall, participants reported their cognitive anxiety to be more facilitating after they had the opportunity to self-handicap. Thus, participants who were given the opportunity to self-handicap (i.e., use claimed and behavioral self-handicaps), reported greater increases in perceptions of cognitive anxiety as facilitating their performance. This study shows the importance of looking at anxiety direction, and not just anxiety intensity, when examining self-handicapping’s effects on anxiety. Implications for sport psychologists are proposed.

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Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville, Christophe Gernigon, Marie-Laure Huet, Marielle Cadopi and Fayda Winnykamen

Based on Vygotsky’s theory of cognitive development and its concept of zone of proximal development, this study examined how the skill level of a peer tutor affects the achievement motivation of novice learners and their performance in a swimming task. Gender differences were also explored. High school students (N = 48) were assigned in a 2 × 3 (Gender × Tutor skill level: novice vs. intermediate vs. skilled) factorial design. Participants were invited to observe a same-sex peer tutor, complete a self-efficacy questionnaire, train with their tutor for 8 minutes, and complete a goal involvement questionnaire. Results demonstrated that skilled tutors yielded the best swimming skills for boys, whereas skilled and intermediate tutors yielded better skills than did novice tutors for girls. The skilled tutor group led to higher self-efficacy for improvement and gave more demonstrations and verbal information than did the novice group. Male tutees adopted higher ego involvement goals and trained more physically, whereas female tutees adopted higher learning goals and received more demonstrations and verbal instructions. Results are discussed in relation to educational studies conducted in a Vygotskian perspective.

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Ruud J. R. Den Hartigh, Paul L. C. Van Geert, Nico W. Van Yperen, Ralf F. A. Cox and Christophe Gernigon

This study on psychological momentum (PM) in sports provides the first experimental test of an interconnection between short-term PM (during a match) and long-term PM (across a series of matches). Twenty-two competitive athletes were striving to win a prize during a rowing-ergometer tournament, consisting of manipulated races. As hypothesized, athletes who had developed long-term positive PM after two successful races were less sensitive to a negative momentum scenario in the third race, compared with athletes who had developed long-term negative PM after two unsuccessful races. More specifically, the exerted efforts, perceptions of momentum, and self-efficacy were higher for participants who had developed long-term positive PM, and their perceptions of momentum and self-efficacy decreased less rapidly. These results illustrate a typical complex dynamical systems property, namely interconnected time scales, and provide deeper insights into the dynamical nature of PM.

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Ruud J. R. Den Hartigh, Ralf F. A. Cox, Christophe Gernigon, Nico W. Van Yperen and Paul L. C. Van Geert

The aim of this study was to examine (1) the temporal structures of variation in rowers’ (natural) ergometer strokes to make inferences about the underlying motor organization, and (2) the relation between these temporal structures and skill level. Four high-skilled and five lower-skilled rowers completed 550 strokes on a rowing ergometer. Detrended Fluctuation Analysis was used to quantify the temporal structure of the intervals between force peaks. Results showed that the temporal structure differed from random, and revealed prominent patterns of pink noise for each rower. Furthermore, the high-skilled rowers demonstrated more pink noise than the lower-skilled rowers. The presence of pink noise suggests that rowing performance emerges from the coordination among interacting component processes across multiple time scales. The difference in noise pattern between high-skilled and lower-skilled athletes indicates that the complexity of athletes’ motor organization is a potential key characteristic of elite performance.