The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between the amount of positive verbal feedback presented and the ensuing intrinsic motivation of male hockey players toward a hockey-related task. The subjects were 50 male hockey players 13-16 years of age who performed on an interesting task consisting of 24 slides that allowed the subject to test his decision-making abilities in simulated hockey situations. Subjects performed on the task and received either 6, 12, 18, 24 (on every trial or slide), or no positive verbal reinforcements regarding their performance. Following their participation on the task, subjects answered an intrinsic motivation questionnaire and a question on feelings of competence. Results indicated that subjects receiving positive verbal feedback displayed a much higher level of intrinsic motivation and experienced higher levels of feelings of competence than subjects in the control group, irrespective of the amount of feedback presented. Further, no other differences were found among the feedback groups. These findings are discussed in light of cognitive evaluation theory (Deci & Ryan, 1980) and previous intrinsic motivation studies on the effect of positive verbal feedback. Finally, implications and suggestions for future research within the realm of sport are proposed.
The Effect of Differential Amounts of Positive Verbal Feedback on the Intrinsic Motivation of Male Hockey Players
Robert J. Vallerand
On Emotion In Sport: Theoretical and Social Psychological Perspectives
Robert J. Vallerand
This paper presents and critically assesses four major cognitive theories of emotion. Theories were selected on the basis of their pertinence to a social psychological study of emotion in sport. Four cognitive theories of emotion by Schachter (1964), Lazarus (1966), Arnold (1960), and Weiner (1981) were reviewed. Strengths and weaknesses of these theories were examined. Cognitive theories of emotion were also shown to be amenable to theoretical research in sport. It was suggested that a comprehensive theory of emotion in sport should incorporate aspects of different cognitive theories of emotion thus leading to a better understanding and prediction of emotion in sport settings. Such a comprehensive theory, however, must await future research. Issues for a social psychology of emotion in sport were formulated. It was argued that emotion research in sport should be incorporated within a social psychological framework. To this end it was suggested that a better understanding of the antecedents and consequences of affect is needed in order to fully understand emotion as experienced by sport participants.
Attention and Decision Making: A Test of the Predictive Validity of the Test of Attention and Interpersonal Style (TAIS) in a Sport Setting1
Robert J. Vallerand
The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between athletes' attentional styles as measured by Nideffer's (1976 a, b) Test of Attentional and Interpersonal Style and a performance component, decision making. More making abilities and then divided into good, average, and poor decision makers. It was hypothesized that good, relative to average, and poor decision makers would display a more positive “scan” factor (higher BET, BIT, INFP scales) and a more adequate “focus” factor (low OET, and OIT, but high NAR scales). Results from the analyses of variance revealed no significant differences among the three groups. Furthermore, a discriminant analysis on the good and poor decision makers revealed no clear picture. The present results support Van Schoyck and Grasha's (1981) conclusion that the Test of Attentional and Interpersonal Styles does not seem to be sensitive enough to pick up differences in attentional style between performers of different levels.
Robert J. Vallerand
Antecedents of Self-Related Affects in Sport: Preliminary Evidence on the Intuitive-Reflective Appraisal Model
Robert J. Vallerand
In line with various cognitive theories of emotion, Vallerand (1983, 1984) has proposed an intuitive-reflective appraisal model for self-related affects in achievement situations. A fundamental postulate of the model states that it is the cognitive evaluation of events and not events per se that produces emotions. Such cognitive evaluation can be seen as intuitive (almost automatic) and reflective (deliberate) in nature. Whereas the intuitive appraisal is akin to one's almost automatic subjective assessment of performance, the reflective appraisal is hypothesized to include several forms: (a) intellectualization, (b) comparison (self, outcome, and social) processes, (c) mastery-related cognitions, (d) information processing functions, and (e) causal attributions. Two studies tested some of the model's postulates in field (Study 1) and laboratory (Study 2) settings. Results showed support for some of the model's postulates in that both the intuitive and reflective attributional appraisals were found to have important effects on self- and general-type affects. In addition, perceptions of success/failure (the intuitive appraisal of performance) had more potent effects on affects than did objective success/failure. On the other hand, the intellectualization reflective appraisal (task importance) did not have appreciable effects on affects. Results are discussed in light of the intuitive-reflective appraisal model, and implications for future studies on emotion in sport are underscored.
Robert J. Vallerand and Gaëtan F. Losier
The motives underlying involvement in sport appear to influence how a person will play the game. However, how athletes play the game may also have an impact on their motives for participating in sports. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between self-determined motivation and sportsmanship orientations by using a longitudinal design, as well as recent theoretical approaches to sportsmanship (Vallerand, 1991, 1994) and motivation (Deci & Ryan, 1985, 1991). Male adolescent elite hockey players (N = 77, mean age = 15.8) completed a questionnaire assessing both constructs 2 weeks into the hockey season (T1) and at the end of the regular season (T2), 5 months later. The results from cross-lag correlations suggested that, over time, self-determined motivation and sportsmanship orientations have a positive bidirectional relation, in which self-determined motivation has greater influence on sportsmanship. These results give further impetus to the need to consider motivation in future studies on sportsmanship.
A Test of Self-Determination Theory with Wheelchair Basketball Players with and Without Disability
Stéphane Perreault and Robert J. Vallerand
Guided by Self-Determination Theory (SDT), the present study examined the sport motivation and coping skills of male and female wheelchair basketball players with and without disability (N = 72). In line with SDT, results showed that intrinsic and extrinsic motivation as well as amotivation was found to be present in this sample of wheelchair basketball players. Results also demonstrated that the participants surveyed in the present study scored higher on self-determined types of motivation than non self-determined types of motivation, thus replicating past research with athletes without disability. Furthermore, wheelchair basketball players with and without disability did not differ significantly with respect to sport motivation and coping skills, suggesting that they are more alike than dissimilar. Finally, results revealed that self-determined motivation is associated with enhanced psychological functioning.
On the Causal Effects of Perceived Competence on Intrinsic Motivation: A Test of Cognitive Evaluation Theory
Robert J. Vallerand and Greg Reid
The purpose of this study was to test the validity of the psychological processes proposed by cognitive evaluation theory (Deci & Ryan, 1980) when the informational aspect of the situation is salient. More specifically, it was the purpose of this study to determine whether the effects of verbal feedback on intrinsic motivation are mediated by perceived competence. Male undergraduate students (N = 115) participated in a first phase wherein their intrinsic motivation and perceived competence toward an interesting motor task, the stabilometer, was assessed. Subjects (N = 84) who reported at least a moderate level of intrinsic motivation toward the task returned for the second phase of the study in which they were subjected to conditions of either positive, negative, or no verbal feedback of performance. Intrinsic motivation and perceived competence were again assessed. One-way analyses of variance with dependent variables, intrinsic motivation and perceived competence change scores from the first to the second phase, showed that positive feedback increased while negative feedback decreased both intrinsic motivation and perceived competence. Results of a path analysis conducted with verbal feedback, perceived competence, and intrinsic
Multimodal Effects of Electromyographic Biofeedback: Looking at Children's Ability to Control Precompetitive Anxiety
Marc R. Blais and Robert J. Vallerand
This study assessed the multimodal effects of electromyographic biofeedback on highly trait-anxious subjects, boys who scored in the upper quartile of the Sport Competition Anxiety Test (SCAT). Subjects participated in a bogus sport competitive tournament and participated individually in six laboratory sessions that consisted of a practice session and five matches. Each session comprised an adaptation period and three games separated by three rest periods. Biofeedback or placebo condition was administered during the rest periods. Frontalis EMG, heart rate, and respiratory rate were measured at the end of a rest period and immediately before every game (i.e., stress periods). State anxiety (STAIC; Spielberger, Gorsuch, & Lushene, 1970) was measured before every game, and game performance was also recorded. Results from a MANOVA combining the three physiological variables revealed significant variations between rest and stress periods but no significant group differences. Results from univariate repeated measures ANCOVAs on all dependent variables revealed that the biofeedback group was superior to the placebo group in reducing frontalis EMG both during rest periods and in the general competitive setting. Results support the specificity of single-system biofeedback training and are discussed in light of the discriminative/motor skills model and the trophotropic rebiasing model.
Psychological Momentum and Performance Inferences: A Preliminary Test of the Antecedents-Consequences Psychological Momentum Model
Robert J. Vallerand, Pasquale G. Colavecchio, and Luc G. Pelletier
This paper introduces a model on psychological momentum (PM) in sport (Vallerand, 1985, 1987) and presents preliminary results supportive of the model. The antecedents-consequences PM model postulates that PM refers to perceptions that the actor is progressing toward his/her goal. The model emphasizes that PM perception must be distinguished from its antecedents and performance consequences. In addition, personal and situational variables are hypothesized to lead to perceptions of PM while personal and contextual variables are hypothesized to moderate the PM-performance relationship. This study tested hypotheses derived from the model with respect to the impact of antecedent variables on PM perceptions and attempted to ascertain the link between PM perceptions and performance inferences. Subjects with high and low tennis experience read scenarios depicting a match between two tennis players wherein the score was tied at 5 all in the first set. Two versions of the scenarios were prepared so that the momentum pattern as manipulated by the score configuration was either present or absent. Results revealed that the presence of a PM pattern led to enhanced PM perceptions. In addition, both the score configuration and the experience variables led to inferences that the player having PM should win the first set, and there were some limited indications that such inferences generalized to winning the match. Results are discussed in light of the PM model, and directions for future research are underscored.