Although the motivational technique of goal setting has consistently and reliably improved performance in industrial psychology research, this beneficial effect has not been clearly demonstrated in the sport domain. The many proposed explanations for this discrepancy have resulted in a controversy in the literature. However, scientists have overlooked the importance of statistical power. A meta-analytic review of the literature investigating the effects of goal setting on performance in sport and exercise could help to clarify the state of knowledge. The meta-analytic procedures described by Hedges and Olkin (1985) were used to statistically combine 36 studies identified as meeting inclusion criteria. Results indicate that, overall, setting goals improves sport by 0.34 of a standard deviation. Moderate, absolute, and combined short- and long-term goals were associated with the greatest effects. Additional moderator variables were identified, and the extent to which they alter the goal setting–performance relationship is discussed.
L. Blaine Kyllo and Daniel M. Landers
Allan J. Rowley, Daniel M. Landers, L. Blaine Kyllo, and Jennifer L. Etnier
The Profile of Mood States (POMS) is commonly used to measure mental health in athletes. Athletes scoring below norms on scales of tension, depression, confusion, anger, and fatigue, and above norms on vigor, are said to possess a positive profile that graphically depicts an iceberg. However, the predictive power of the iceberg profile has recently been questioned. A meta-analysis was conducted on 33 studies comparing the POMS scores of athletes differing in success to estimate the magnitude of the findings. The overall effect size was calculated to be 0.15. Although this value was significantly different from zero, the amount of variance accounted for was less than 1%. The results suggest that across many different sports and levels of performance, successful athletes possess a mood profile slightly more positive than less successful athletes. However, with such a small and nonrobust effect, the utility of the POMS in predicting athletic success is questionable.