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Sanna M. Nordin and Jennifer Cumming

The effects of imagery direction on self-efficacy and performance in a dart throwing task were examined. Two imagery types were investigated: skill-based cognitive specific (CS) and confidence-based motivational general-mastery (MG-M). Seventy-five novice dart throwers were randomly allocated to one of three conditions: (a) facilitative imagery, (b) debilitative imagery, or (c) control. After 2 imagery interventions, the debilitative imagery group rated their self-efficacy significantly lower than the facilitative group and performed significantly worse than either the facilitative group or the control group. Efficacy ratings remained constant across trials for the facilitative group, but decreased significantly for both the control group and the debilitative group. Performance remained constant for the facilitative and the control groups but decreased significantly for the debilitative group. Similar to Short et al. (2002), our results indicate that both CS and MG-M imagery can affect self-efficacy and performance.

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Sanna M. Nordin and Jennifer Cumming

In-depth semistructured interviews were conducted with 14 male and female professional dancers from several dance forms. Interviews were primarily based in the 4 Ws framework (Munroe, Giacobbi, Jr., Hall, & Weinberg, 2000), which meant exploring Where, When, Why, and What dancers image. A dimension describing How the dancers employed imagery also emerged. What refers to imagery content, and emerged from two categories: Imagery Types and Imagery Characteristics. Why represents the reason an image is employed and emerged from five categories: Cognitive Reasons, Motivational Reasons, Artistic Reasons, Healing Reasons, and No reason - Triggered Imagery. There were also large individual differences reported regarding What images were used and Why. Many new insights were gained, including several imagery types and reasons not commonly discussed in sport and exercise.

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Sanna M. Nordin-Bates, Jennifer Cumming, Danielle Aways and Lucinda Sharp

The present study investigated perfectionism prevalence and its relationship to imagery and performance anxiety. Two hundred and fifty (N = 250) elite students (66.4% female; M age = 19.19, SD = 2.66) studying mainly classical ballet or contemporary dance in England, Canada, and Australia completed questionnaires assessing perfectionism, imagery, and performance anxiety. Cluster analysis revealed three distinct cohorts: dancers with perfectionistic tendencies (40.59% of the sample), dancers with moderate perfectionistic tendencies (44.35%), and dancers with no perfectionistic tendencies (15.06%). Notably, these labels are data driven and relative; only eight dancers reported high absolute scores. Dancers with perfectionistic tendencies experienced more debilitative imagery, greater cognitive and somatic anxiety, and lower self-confidence than other dancers. Dancers with moderate perfectionistic tendencies reported midlevel scores for all constructs and experienced somatic anxiety as being more debilitative to performance than did those with no perfectionistic tendencies. Clusters were demographically similar, though more males than females reported no perfectionistic tendencies, and vice versa. In summary, the present findings suggest that “true” perfectionism may be rare in elite dance; however, elements of perfectionism appear common and are associated with maladaptive characteristics.

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Jennifer Cumming, Sanna M. Nordin, Robin Horton and Scott Reynolds

The study investigated the impact of varying combinations of facilitative and debilitative imagery and self-talk (ST) on self-efficacy and performance of a dart-throwing task. Participants (N = 95) were allocated to 1 of 5 groups: (a) facilitative imagery/facilitative ST, (b) facilitative imagery/debilitative ST, (c) debilitative imagery/facilitative ST, (d) debilitative imagery/debilitative ST, or (e) control. Mixed-design ANOVAs revealed that performance, but not self-efficacy, changed over time as a function of the assigned experimental condition. Participants in the debilitative imagery/debilitative ST condition worsened their performance, and participants in the facilitative imagery/facilitative ST condition achieved better scores. These findings demonstrate that a combination of facilitative imagery and ST can enhance performance whereas debilitative imagery and ST can hamper it.

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Sanna M. Nordin-Bates, Andrew P. Hill, Jennifer Cumming, Imogen J. Aujla and Emma Redding

The present study examined the relationship between dance-related perfectionism and perceptions of motivational climate in dance over time. In doing so, three possibilities were tested: (a) perfectionism affects perceptions of the motivational climate, (b) perceptions of the motivational climate affect perfectionism, and (c) the relationship is reciprocal. Two hundred seventy-one young dancers (M = 14.21 years old, SD = 1.96) from UK Centres for Advanced Training completed questionnaires twice, approximately 6 months apart. Cross-lagged analysis indicated that perfectionistic concerns led to increased perceptions of an ego-involving climate and decreased perceptions of a task-involving climate over time. In addition, perceptions of a task-involving climate led to increased perfectionistic strivings over time. The findings suggest that perfectionistic concerns may color perceptions of training/performing environments so that mistakes are deemed unacceptable and only superior performance is valued. They also suggest that perceptions of a task-involving climate in training/performing environments may encourage striving for excellence and perfection without promoting excessive concerns regarding their attainment.

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Sarah E. Williams, Jennifer Cumming, Nikos Ntoumanis, Sanna M. Nordin-Bates, Richard Ramsey and Craig Hall

This research validated and extended the Movement Imagery Questionnaire-Revised (MIQ-R; Hall & Martin, 1997). Study 1 (N = 400) examined the MIQ-R’s factor structure via multitrait-multimethod confirmatory factor analysis. The questionnaire was then modified in Study 2 (N = 370) to separately assess the ease of imaging external visual imagery and internal visual imagery, as well as kinesthetic imagery (termed the Movement Imagery Questionnaire-3; MIQ-3). Both Studies 1 and 2 found that a correlated-traits correlated-uniqueness model provided the best fit to the data, while displaying gender invariance and no significant differences in latent mean scores across gender. Study 3 (N = 97) demonstrated the MIQ-3’s predictive validity revealing the relationships between imagery ability and observational learning use. Findings highlight the method effects that occur by assessing each type of imagery ability using the same four movements and demonstrate that better imagers report greater use of observational learning.