The Individual Zone of Optimal Functioning (IZOF) model postulates the functional relationship between emotions and optimal performance, and aims to predict the quality of upcoming performance with respect to the pre-performance emotional state of the performer. Several limitations associated with the traditional method of determining the IZOF are outlined and a new probabilistic approach is introduced instead. To reliably determine the boundaries of the IZOF and their associated probabilistic curve thresholds, performance outcomes that vary in quality, as well as the emotional intensity associated with them, are taken into account. Several probabilistic models of varying complexity are presented, along with hypothetical and real data to illustrate the concept. The traditional and the new methods are contrasted in one actual set and two hypothetical sets of data. In all cases the proposed probabilistic method was found to show greater sensitivity and to more accurately represent the data than the traditional method. The development of the method is a first stage toward developing models that take into account the interactive nature and multidimensionality of the emotional construct, as well as the fluctuations in emotional intensity and performance throughout the competition phases (i.e., momentum).
Akihito Kamata, Gershon Tenenbaum and Yuri L. Hanin
Yuri L. Hanin and Natalia B. Stambulova
This study examined feeling states prior to, during, and after best ever and worst ever competition in 85 skilled Russian athletes using metaphor-generation method (Hanin, 2000). Six situations elicited 510 idiosyncratic and functionally meaningful metaphors (67% animate and 33% inanimate agents) and 922 interpretative descriptors. Metaphors and descriptors reflected high action readiness in best ever competition and low action readiness in worst ever competition. Athletes used different metaphors to describe their feelings prior to, during, and after performance. Accompanying idiosyncratic descriptors had multiple connotations with different components of psychobiosocial state. Aggregated content of descriptors had high scores on optimal and low scores on dysfunctional state characteristics in best ever competition but not in worst ever competition. Future research directions and practical implications are suggested.
Gershon Tenenbaum, Michael Lloyd, Grace Pretty and Yuri L. Hanin
A study was carried out to examine the ability of equestrians to accurately report precompetition emotions and thoughts across varying time delays (3,7, and 14 days) after competition. Forty male and female dressage riders were randomly divided into two equal groups: participants who watched their videotaped precompetition routine before responding to the items, and participants who visualized the precompetition routine without any external aid. Each rider completed several questionnaires which measured emotions, items related to horses, and an open-ended question on thoughts and emotions at that moment. After a delay of 3,7, and 14 days, the riders were asked to respond to the same questions after imagining themselves preparing for the competition. Repeated-measures MANOVA indicate that though some decrease in emotional intensity was noted for some emotions in the retrospective report, the stability of reporting precompetition emotions was very high in all delay periods. The horse related items were reported particularly accurately. Watching the videotape did not improve the accuracy of the report. Content analysis, however, indicated that when measurement consisted of free report, many emotions and thoughts were added or omitted in the delayed modes. Ericsson and Simon’s (1980, 1984) verbal reports and protocol analysis conceptualization is used to elaborate upon these results.