The effectiveness of five types of cognitive preparation on strength performance was examined in a 2 X 5 (Pre- and Posttest × Mental Preparation Condition) design, with repeated measures on pre-posttest. The mental preparation conditions were: arousal, attention, imagery, self-efficacy, and a control read condition. Immediately following the posttest trials, subjects completed a questionnaire measuring various cognitive states. The results showed that preparatory arousal and self-efficacy techniques produced significantly greater posttest strength performance than the control group. Analysis of the postexperimental questionnaire data suggested that a general effect of the preparation strategies used was to focus attention on the task to be performed. It was concluded that the effectiveness of a particular cognitive strategy may depend on the nature of the task to be performed and the particular aspects of the task to which attention is directed.
Robert L. Wilkes and Jeffery J. Summers
Stephen K. Ford and Jeffery J. Summers
The factorial validity of the attentional-style subscales of the Test of Attentional and Interpersonal Style (TAIS) have recently been questioned, although the evidence is only indirect. This study aimed to examine, directly, the factorial validity of these scales and to cross-validate the results. Two samples of 210 first-year psychology students responded to the 52 items comprising the attention-related subscales of the TAIS. A multidimensional confirmatory factor analysis (MCFA) was conducted on the interitem covariance matrix to test the measurement model underlying the six subscales. The MCFA results failed to support the model. Furthermore, internal consistency coefficients and item-total coefficients also supported the view that many of the subscales have insufficient factorial validity. Of the 52 items, 44% correlated better with at least one subscale other than their own, which indicates poor discriminant validity. Analysis of item content reveals some explanation for the poor discriminant validity. All results were cross-validated with the second sample.
Jeffery J. Summers, Kerryn Miller and Stephen Ford
The Test of Attentional and Interpersonal Style (TAIS) has been used to examine the attention-performance relationship in sport with mixed results. However, sport-specific versions of the TAIS attentional subscales appear to provide improved measurement of attentional processes in sport. The present study farther evaluated the utility of a sport-specific TAIS. A secondary aim was to examine the relationship between attentional style and competitive trait anxiety. The TAIS and a basketball-specific form (BB-TAIS) were administered to 110 basketball players classified into three skill-level groups. Both instruments were psychometrically similar. The bandwidth dimension was supported, although it appeared to be multidimensional. The validity of the direction dimension, however, remains inconclusive. Neither instrument was able to reliably discriminate between basketball players of different skill levels. Predicted relationships, however, were obtained between the BB-TAIS subscales and measures of competitive trait anxiety. The use of the TAIS as a research instrument for examining attentional styles in sport is questioned.
Jeffery J. Summers, Victoria J. Machin and Gregory I. Sargent
This study was designed to examine some of the psychosocial factors underlying the recent marathon boom. A survey of 459 marathoners varying in age, sex, ability, and experience was conducted to assess their reasons for running a marathon, the outcomes derived, and their experiences during a marathon. Information was also sought regarding the psychological aspects of running in general, particularly the concept of addiction to running. Measures of addiction to running produced a consistent pattern of sex differences, with females evidencing higher levels of addiction than males. With respect to reasons for running a marathon and perceived outcomes, some interesting trends were evident as a function of age. It was suggested that the attraction of the marathon to people of all ages and abilities may lie partly in its unique ability to satisfy a wide range of needs, both extrinsic and intrinsic.
Robert Rein, Chris Button, Keith Davids and Jeffery Summers
The present paper proposes a technical analysis method for extracting information about movement patterning in studies of motor control, based on a cluster analysis of movement kinematics. In a tutorial fashion, data from three different experiments are presented to exemplify and validate the technical method. When applied to three different basketball-shooting techniques, the method clearly distinguished between the different patterns. When applied to a cyclical wrist supination-pronation task, the cluster analysis provided the same results as an analysis using the conventional discrete relative phase measure. Finally, when analyzing throwing performance constrained by distance to target, the method grouped movement patterns together according to throwing distance. In conclusion, the proposed technical method provides a valuable tool to improve understanding of coordination and control in different movement models, including multiarticular actions.
Winston D. Byblow, Jeffery J. Summers, Andras Semjen, Irina J. Wuyts and Richard G. Carson
Two experiments required right-handed subjects to trace circular trajectories while complying with either a symmetric or asymmetric pattern. In symmetric patterns, circles were traced in a mirror image either inward or outward. In asymmetric patterns, circles were traced in the same direction either clockwise or counterclockwise. Subjects were instructed to trace with spatial accuracy while maintaining a strict temporal relationship to a metronome that scaled movement rates from 1.25 to 3 Hz. The symmetric patterns were more stable than asymmetric patterns; the circularity of trajectories was greater for the dominant side; and there were spontaneous reversals in the direction of circling in the nondominant limb when performing asymmetric patterns. The second experiment examined the same subjects under the instruction of intentionally changing the pattern by reversing the left or right limb circling direction when cued to do so. The degree of interlimb interference was highly asymmetric and contingent on the direction of pattern change. Intentional direction reversals were more expedient and with less disruption to the contralateral limb when asymmetric to symmetric pattern changes were effected through a reversal in the direction of nondominant side. The results are interpreted with reference to evidence that the supplementary motor area mediates descending input to the upper limbs during disparate bimanual actions, but not during symmetric actions.
Jeffery J. Summers, Winston D. Byblow, Don F. Bysouth-Young and Andras Semjen
Seven right-handed participants performed bimanual circling movements in either a symmetrical or an asymmetrical coordination mode. Movements were paced with an auditory metronome at predetermined frequencies corresponding to transition frequency, where asymmetrical patterns became unstable, or at two-thirds transition frequency, where both symmetrical and asymmetrical patterns were stable. The pacing tones were presented in either a high (1000 Hz) or low (500 Hz) pitch, and the percentage of high-pitched tones during a 20 s trial varied between 0% and 70%. Participants were instructed to count the number of high-pitched pacing tones that occurred during a trial of bimanual circling. Overall, the symmetrical pattern was more stable than the asymmetrical pattern at both frequencies. Errors on the tone-counting task were significantly higher during asymmetrical circling than symmetrical circling but only at the transition movement frequency. The results suggest that cognitive processes play a role in maintaining coordination patterns within regions of instability.