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Do the TAIS Attentional-Style Scales Predict How Visual Information Is Processed?

Deborah Dewey and Lawrence R. Brawley

A major research limitation in investigating the validity of the TAIS has been the failure to distinguish when attentional style has an effect on the information processing system, early as in encoding or late after processing. Few investigations have examined the TAIS predictive validity in a controlled setting wherein task attention demands can be systematically and accurately varied. Does the general trait of attentional style really have anything to do with how attention related information is processed? The present study examined this question using a valid attention theory (Treisman's feature integration theory) and a visual search paradigm. When the TAIS attentional-style scales were correlated with visual search rate for attention demanding targets, no significant relationships were observed. Specifically, TAIS scales did not relate to visual search rate for an attention demanding target, the performance of subjects extreme in search rate, or the central to peripheral slowing of search time in target detection. The factorial validity of the TAIS was also questioned. It was concluded that the attentional-style scales were not valid in predicting how attention related visual information is processed. The importance of distinguishing when attentional style might be operating in the information processing system was emphasized for future research.

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The Interface between Social and Sport Psychology

Lawrence R. Brawley and Kathleen A. Martin

Over the past three decades, an interface has developed between sport and social psychology, characterized primarily by commonly utilized concepts and theories. The list of social psychological benefits to sport psychology is lengthy and includes theory, hypotheses, research paradigms, general independent and dependent variables, methods, and measures. In this paper, the following areas of sport research are used to illustrate the interface between sport and social psychology: (a) social facilitation and cohesion as two social influence phenomena, (b) anxiety and goal orientations as personality moderators of social behavior, and (c) self-efficacy beliefs and attitudes as social cognitions relevant to motivated behavior. Each of these areas are discussed in terms of social psychology’s impact on its development as a line of research in sport and in terms of the recent contributions each has made in return to social psychology. The general nature of the interface of social and sport psychology is also discussed.

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The Role of Outcome Expectancies in Participation Motivation

Wendy M. Rodgers and Lawrence R. Brawley

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Attribution Theory in Sport: Current Status and New Perspectives

W. Jack Rejeski and Lawrence R. Brawley

In adopting attribution theory, researchers in the field of sport psychology have followed the cognitive perspectives characteristic of mainstream investigations in this area. Numerous investigations regarding the self-perception of achievement outcomes in sport reveal this trend. The present article discusses the sport psychological perspective of attribution theory in terms of present and future concerns. First, a critical evaluation of existing approaches to the study of sport attribution is presented. The discussion outlines the typical characteristics of such investigations and their problems, some inherited from psychology and others unique to sport. This critical analysis underscores the narrowness of previous interests. Second, the broad scope of attribution is presented to emphasize the wealth of research problems that could be studied, in addition to those concerning self-focus on achievement outcomes. Third, recent investigations of attribution in sport are briefly described to exemplify new research directions. These examples sketch the importance of subjects' phenomenology, the situational and internal variables affecting attributions, and a developmental comment. If future studies recognize the rich array of social inference problems within the sport context and confront previous investigative errors, the result should be a productive decade of attribution research in sport psychology.

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Defining the Boundaries of Sport Psychology

W. Jack Rejeski and Lawrence R. Brawley

Sport psychology has experienced substantial growth in the past decade. Despite many positive developments, however, a nagging question remains. Specifically, what are the boundaries of sport psychology? In this paper, an organizational model is provided as one way of defining sport psychology and related domains of inquiry: exercise psychology, health psychology, and rehabilitation psychology. The process of defining boundaries for sport psychology goes far beyond simple semantics. Failure to reflect and work toward resolution of this issue will continue to restrict the direction and breadth of research, jeopardize appropriate training of graduate students, and maintain definitional ambiguity in the public sector.

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Powering Adherence to Physical Activity by Changing Self-Regulatory Skills and Beliefs: Are Kinesiologists Ready to Counsel?

Lawrence R. Brawley, Madelaine S. H. Gierc, and Sean R. Locke

There are multiple avenues to gain health promoting and disease preventing benefits of physical activity (PA) but nonadherence makes health benefits short-lived. Gains obtained through structured exercise training and therapy quickly decay once participants leave programs. Scientific position statements underscore cognitive-behavioral strategies (CBS) as an essential intervention component to increase and maintain PA and recommend transfer of CBS knowledge to practice. Our review of reviews indicates high quality PA interventions involving CBS consistently demonstrate medium effect sizes. Kinesiologists are the human resource capacity to translate this knowledge. Building capacity to implement CBS knowledge is potentially large given North American kinesiology programs and American College of Sports Medicine and Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology certification routes. Yet CBS training of kinesiologists by universities and organizations is minimal. Immediate change in CBS training and practice is needed. Professional organizations/institutions can either be leaders in developing human resources or part of the problem should they fail to address the challenge of CBS training.

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Group Cohesion and Individual Adherence to Physical Activity

Albert V. Carron, W. Neil Widmeyer, and Lawrence R. Brawley

The general purpose of this investigation was to examine the relationship of group cohesion to individual adherence to physical activity. Two independent studies were conducted using present and former participants from organized sport programs, physical recreation programs, and physical exercise programs. The purpose of Study 1 was to determine if cohesiveness was related to adherence behavior in organized sport and exercise class settings. Study 2 explored the relationship of individual perceptions of group cohesion to absenteeism and lateness by summer recreation sport participants. The results from the two studies supported the conclusion that group cohesiveness is related to individual adherence behavior. This conclusion was supported across different group types including fitness classes, recreational team sports, and elite team sports. However, both the form and number of aspects of cohesion that were related to adherence were moderated by type of group. This underscores the necessity of conducting more comparative group research in future investigations.

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Exploring the Relationship between Cohesion and Group Resistance to Disruption

Lawrence R. Brawley, Albert V. Carron, and W. Neil Widmeyer

Gross and Martin (1952), and Escovar and Sim (1974), proposed group resistance to disruption (GRD) as an alternative conception of cohesion, but the GRD/cohesion relationship has not been empirically examined. In Study 1, this relationship was examined using an extreme-groups design. It was a priori predicted that elite athletes perceiving high team cohesion would also perceive high GRD. The prediction was supported for three of four aspects of cohesion assessed by the Group Environment Questionnaire. Study 2 methodologically extended Study 1 and examined the GRD/cohesion relationship comparatively across physical activity groups. Elite sport, recreational sport, and fitness class groups were assessed. Participants extreme in GRD were predicted on the basis of their cohesion scores. Results indicated that the form and extent of the GRD/cohesion relationship was moderated by group type. In both studies, group task cohesion was positively related to GRD for all samples. The studies represent the first demonstration of this important but neglected relationship.

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The Effects of Group Size in Sport

W. Neil Widmeyer, Lawrence R. Brawley, and Albert V. Carron

Although group size has been one of the most frequently examined small-group variables, it has rarely been studied in sport. In Study 1 the effects of number of team members on cohesion and performance were examined. Teams of 3, 6, and 9 members participated in a 3-on-3 basketball league. Discriminant function analyses indicated that team size was related to pre-and postseason task cohesion and postseason social cohesion. Study 2 determined effects of action-unit size (number from one team on the field of action) on enjoyment and cohesion. Relationships between these outcomes and five more immediate outcomes were also investigated. As predicted, enjoyment and cohesion decreased as size increased. This decrease was also observed for the more immediate outcomes of exercise/fatigue, influence/responsibility, and organization/strategy whereas feelings of crowding increased with size. The best predictor of enjoyment was exercise/fatigue in smaller units and reduced influence/responsibility in large units. Organization/strategy was the best predictor of cohesion for all action-unit sizes.

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The Impact of Group Size in an Exercise Setting

Albert V. Carron, Lawrence R. Brawley, and W. Neil Widmeyer

Two independent studies were conducted to examine the impact of group size in an exercise setting. In the first, archival data from 47 exercise classes varying in size from 5 to 46 members were used to examine the relationship between group size and behavior. Attention and retention were high in small and large exercise classes and specific social psychologocal correlates of group size including the participants’ perceptions of conspicuousness, quality and quantity of interactions with their leader, their opportunities for social interaction with other members, the level of crowding and density, and satisfaction. Trend analyses showed a curvilinear relationship between exercise class size and participants’ perceptions of the opportunities available for social interaction and feelings of crowding and density. Both the small and large classes were perceived more favorably than the medium classes. The relationships between class size and perceptions of the instructor as well as the level of satisfaction experienced were linear—positive perceptions decreased systematically as class size increased.