This study explored the effectiveness of self-talk strategies on task performance under conditions of external distraction in laboratory and field experiments. In the laboratory experiment, 28 sport science students (M age 21.48±1.58 years) were tested on a computer game requiring attention and fine execution following a baseline assessment and a short self-talk training. In the field experiment, 28 female basketball players (M age 20.96±4.51 years) were tested on free-throwing, following a baseline assessment and a six-week intervention. In both settings the final assessment took place under conditions of external distraction (noncontinuous, sudden, loud noise). Analyses of covariance showed that participants of the self-talk group performed better than participants of the control group. Findings suggest that self-talk can counter the effects of distraction on performance, and indicate that the attentional effects of self-talk is a viable mechanism to explain the facilitating effects of self-talk on performance.
Evangelos Galanis, Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis, Nikos Comoutos, Fedra Charachousi and Xavier Sanchez
Jón Gregersen, Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis, Evangelos Galanis, Nikos Comoutos and Athanasios Papaioannou
This study examined the effects of a self-talk intervention on selective attention in a state of ego depletion. Participants were 62 undergraduate students with a mean age of 20.02 years (SD = 1.17). The experiment was conducted in four consecutive sessions. Following baseline assessment, participants were randomly assigned into experimental and control groups. A two-session training was conducted for the two groups, with the experimental group using self-talk. In the final assessment, participants performed a selective attention test, including visual and auditory components, following a task inducing a state of ego depletion. The analysis showed that participants of the experimental group achieved a higher percentage of correct responses on the visual test and produced faster reaction times in both the visual and the auditory test compared with participants of the control group. The results of this study suggest that the use of self-talk can benefit selective attention for participants in states of ego depletion.