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William A. Edmonds, Derek T.Y. Mann, Gershon Tenenbaum, and Chris M. Janelle

An exploratory investigation is reported to test the utility of Kamata, Tenenbaum, and Hanin’s (2002) probabilistic model in determining individual affect-related performance zones (IAPZs) in a simulated car-racing task. Three males completed five separate time-trials of a simulated racing task by which self-reported affective states (i.e., arousal and pleasure) and physiological measures of arousal (i.e., heart rate and skin conductance) were integrated with performance and measured throughout each trial. Results revealed each performer maintained unique IAPZs for each of the perceived and physiological measures in terms of the probability and range of achieving each zone. The practical applications of this approach are discussed.

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Derek T.Y. Mann, A. Mark Williams, Paul Ward, and Christopher M. Janelle

Research focusing on perceptual-cognitive skill in sport is abundant. However, the existing qualitative syntheses of this research lack the quantitative detail necessary to determine the magnitude of differences between groups of varying levels of skills, thereby limiting the theoretical and practical contribution of this body of literature. We present a meta-analytic review focusing on perceptual-cognitive skill in sport (N = 42 studies, 388 effect sizes) with the primary aim of quantifying expertise differences. Effects were calculated for a variety of dependent measures (i.e., response accuracy, response time, number of visual fixations, visual fixation duration, and quiet eye period) using point-biserial correlation. Results indicated that experts are better than nonexperts in picking up perceptual cues, as revealed by measures of response accuracy and response time. Systematic differences in visual search behaviors were also observed, with experts using fewer fixations of longer duration, including prolonged quiet eye periods, compared with nonexperts. Several factors (e.g., sport type, research paradigm employed, and stimulus presentation modality) significantly moderated the relationship between level of expertise and perceptual-cognitive skill. Practical and theoretical implications are presented and suggestions for empirical work are provided.