Previous research has established that happy and sad moods can affect persistence and success on a cognitive task, with happiness leading to higher performance and self-efficacy. Two experiments examined whether happiness also produces increased performance on a physical task and tested whether self-efficacy mediated the results. When mood inductions covered the full range from happy to sad, mood did influence physical performance. However, evidence regarding self-efficacy was equivocal. Efficacy for the performed task was unaffected by mood, although it remained a good predictor of performance. Since mood did alter efficacy for a nonperformed but more familiar task, inconsistent efficacy results could reflect task differences. The findings offer prospects for the use of mood inductions in practical sporting situations.
David Kavanagh and Steven Hausfeld
Jonathan Rhodes, Jon May, Jackie Andrade, and David Kavanagh
Functional imagery training (FIT) extends multisensory imagery training by involving athletes with goal setting and appraisal. The authors measured the effect of FIT on 24 professional soccer players’ grit, a personality trait associated with perseverance for a long-term goal. In a stepped-wedge design, an immediate (n = 9) and a delayed (n = 10) group received FIT at Week 1 or 6 and were measured at Week 12. A self-selected control group (n = 5) received no intervention. The delayed group was also measured at Week 6 just before their intervention, and at Week 18. Grit scores in both intervention groups increased after the intervention, but the control group’s did not. The delayed group increased in grit between Weeks 6 and 12, showing the effectiveness of the intervention over a relatively short time, and continued to improve to Week 18. In the intervention groups, vividness of goal imagery also increased and players perceived that FIT improved sport performance.