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Edited by Glyn C. Roberts

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Glyn C. Roberts

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Edited by Glyn C. Roberts

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Maria Kavussanu and Glyn C. Roberts

This study examined the role of achievement goals on indices of moral functioning (i.e., moral judgment, intention and behavior), unsportsmanlike attitudes, and judgments about the legitimacy of intentionally injurious acts in college basketball players. Male (n = 56) and female (n = 143) athletes completed questionnaires assessing the aforementioned variables. Multivariate analysis of variance revealed significant differences according to gender on the variables of interest. Specifically, male athletes reported higher ego orientation, lower task orientation, lower levels of moral functioning, and greater approval of unsportsmanlike behaviors, and they were more likely than females to judge injurious acts as legitimate. For the female sample, canonical correlation analysis indicated the presence of a significant but weak relationship between goal orientations and the set of moral variables. Higher ego orientation was related to lower levels of the judgment and intention indices of moral functioning and greater acceptance of intentionally injurious acts. Although this relationship was significant, the strength of the association between the two sets of variables accounted for only 9% of the variance in the set of moral variables.

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Glyn C. Roberts and Debbie Pascuzzi

Previous sport attribution studies have generally asked subjects to make attributions for outcomes to the four elements of ability, effort, luck, and task difficulty. These studies have assumed that these elements are the most important causes of outcomes. The present study tested this assumption. An open-ended questionnaire was given to 349 male and female subjects to determine the causal elements used in sport situations. Results showed that the four traditional elements of ability, effort, luck, and task difficulty were used 45% of the time. However, the theory advocated by Weiner (1974) is based on the dimensions of locus of control and stability, and not on the elements per se. When the responses of subjects were content analyzed for dimensional properties, it was concluded that 100% of the responses could be placed within the four cells of the Weiner model. These results support the applicability of the Weiner achievement behavior model to sport environments, but only when careful analysis of causal attributions is made to determine their dimensional relevance. The evidence suggests that situationally relevant elements be included in addition to the traditional elements of ability, effort, luck, and task difficulty.

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Maria Kavussanu and Glyn C. Roberts

This study examined the relationship between perceived motivational climate and intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy and determined the role of goal orientation and perceived motivational climate in predicting intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy. College students (N = 285) enrolled in beginning tennis classes completed a battery of questionnaires assessing perceived motivational climate, goal orientation, intrinsic motivation, self-efficacy, and perceived ability. Perceptions of mastery climate were positively associated with enjoyment, effort, perceived competence, and self-efficacy and were inversely related to tension. In males, dispositional goal orientation and perceived motivational climate emerged as equally important predictors of intrinsic motivation, while mastery motivational climate was the only significant predictor of self-efficacy. In females, performance motivational climate was the strongest predictor of intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy. Perceived normative ability accounted for a substantial amount of unique variance in intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy in both males and females. The motivational implications of the findings are discussed, and directions for future research are provided.

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Darren C. Treasere and Glyn C. Roberts

Recent research with young adolescents (Duda, Fox, Biddle, & Armstrong, 1992) and with older adolescents (Duda, 1989) has reported a conceptually coherent relationship between individuals' achievement goal orientations and their beliefs about competitive sport. The purpose of the present study was to extend this line of research and examine the cognitive and affective concomitants of task and ego goal orientations (Nicholls, 1980, 1984, 1989) at three different ages during adolescence. Specifically, beliefs about the purposes of sport, causes of success, and satisfaction in sport were examined. A robust pattern of results emerged from canonical correlation procedures. For all three ages, a task orientation was related to prosocial and adaptive achievement beliefs about sport participation. In contrast, an ego orientation was related to negative social aspects and maladaptive achievement beliefs about sport involvement. The results suggest that a task orientation is likely to facilitate adaptive cognitive and affective patterns in competitive sport during adolescence.

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Kevin S. Spink and Glyn C. Roberts

Previous research in the attributional analysis of individuals involved in athletic settings has typically used objective outcome as the primary determinant of causal attributions. Recent theorizing has suggested that objective outcome may not be the most adequate way of defining success and failure. Rather, success and failure may be more aptly described in terms of an individual's subjective perception of the implications of outcome for desirable personal qualities, especially ability. A field study was conducted to assess the effects of perceived outcome on the causal attributions of racquetball players. Prior to participating in a competitive two-person racquetball game, individuals indicated their expectancy of success against their opponent. Following the game, individuals rated their performance satisfaction, own competency, their opponent's competency, as well as rating the extent to which the outcome was due to internal or external factors. The results showed that the clearly perceived outcomes were attributed internally, while the ambiguous outcomes were attributed externally. The finding suggests that objective outcome may not be the best determinant of success and failure causal attributions.

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William B. Strean and Glyn C. Roberts

Many debates have raged about professional issues in sport psychology, but the research aspect of applied sport psychology has received relatively little attention. In an effort to stimulate thinking about research, this paper discusses the aims of science, the underlying philosophy of science issues that impinge on sport psychology research, and current methodological controversies. The paper concludes with suggestions for future directions for research in applied sport psychology, and implications for consulting are addressed.