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Patrick R. Thomas and Ray Over

Psychological and psychomotor skills associated with performance in golf were established through ratings provided by 165 men with golf handicaps ranging from 5 to 27. Several components of skilled performance in golf were identified through factor analysis of these ratings, followed by comparisons between lower handicap and higher handicap players. Skilled golfers (those with lower handicaps) reported greater mental preparation, a higher level of concentration when playing golf, fewer negative emotions and cognitions, greater psychomotor automaticity, and more commitment to golf. Three self-report assessment scales (measures of psychological skills and tactics, psychomotor skills, and golf involvement) were developed from the data. Contexts in which these scales can be used are discussed.

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Carlos Ayán, Paulo Carvalho, Silvia Varela and José María Cancela

Background: Research regarding the impact of aquatic exercise on cognition is scarce. This study aimed at identifying the effects of water-based exercise training on the cognitive function and quality of life of healthy adult women. Methods: Fifty-one healthy women [mean age: 46.5 (12.3) y] were assigned to group A or B and followed a water-based exercise program for 6 months. During the first 3 months, the sessions performed by group A were focused on stimulating cognitive function. For the next 3 months, the sessions were mainly aimed at improving physical fitness. Participants in group B followed the same program in reverse order. The trail making and symbol digit modality tests were used to assess the impact of the program on cognition. The effects of the intervention on the participants’ physical and mental health were measured by means of the medical outcomes study 36-item short-form health survey. Results: Once the intervention ended, significant improvements were observed in the participants’ cognitive function and mental health domain, regardless of the group in which they were initially included. Conclusion: Water-based exercise is a training modality capable of enhancing cognitive function and quality of life through improvements in mental health in healthy adult women.

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Ralf Brand and Geoffrey Schweizer

The goal of the present paper is to propose a model for the study of automatic cognition and affect in exercise. We have chosen a dual-system approach to social information processing to investigate the hypothesis that situated decisions between behavioral alternatives form a functional link between automatic and reflective evaluations and the time spent on exercise. A new questionnaire is introduced to operationalize this link. A reaction-time–based evaluative priming task was used to test participants’ automatic evaluations. Affective and cognitive reflective evaluations, as well as exercising time, were requested via self-report. Path analyses suggest that the affective reflective (beta = .71) and the automatic evaluation (beta = .15) independently explain situated decisions, which, in turn (beta = .60) explain time spent on exercise. Our findings highlight the concept of contextualized decisions. They can serve as a starting point from which the so far seldom investigations of automatic cognition and affect in exercise can be integrated with multitudinous results from studies on reflective psychological determinants of health behavior.

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Kenneth E. Powell and Steven N. Blair

of the bladder, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, lung, and stomach. Regular MVPA reduces the risk of dementia, and both regular and single bouts of MVPA improve cognition across the age spectrum, including improvements in executive function, a set of cognitive operations enabling the self

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Lisa Cooke and Krista Chandler

Given the prevalence of inactivity among women, it is imperative to examine sources which may influence exercise behavior. Researchers have begun to examine the practical application of exercise imagery on involvement in physical activity (Giacobbi et al., 2003; Milne et al., 2008). Using the Applied Model of Imagery Use in Exercise (Munroe-Chandler & Gammage, 2005), imagery use, efficacy beliefs, and body image among female exercisers (N = 300) was investigated. Results revealed frequent use of exercise imagery, high efficacy beliefs, and positive body image cognitions among exercisers. Structural equation modeling revealed that efficacy beliefs did not mediate the relationship between imagery use and body image among a specific sample of female exercisers. However, the results do suggest that exercise imagery significantly predicts all four types of efficacy belief types (Efficacy Expectancy, Outcome Expectancy, Outcome Value, and Self-presentational Efficacy). Further examination of the suggested relationships in the applied model is needed.

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Shannon Bezoian, W. Jack Rejeski and Edward McAuley

The present study examined the role that preexisting efficacy cognitions played in the generation of exercise-induced feeling states during and following an acute bout of exercise. In so doing, the construct validity of a newly developed measure of psychological responses to exercise, the Exercise-Induced Feeling Inventory (EFI; Gauvin & Rejeski, 1993), was investigated. Female undergraduates, classified as having either high or low physical efficacy, engaged in an acute exercise bout and feeling states were recorded prior to, during, and following the activity. More efficacious females maintained a sense of energy during exercise and felt more revitalized and experienced increased positive engagement postexercise than did their less efficacious counterparts. Such findings provide further support for a social-cognitive interpretation of how psychological responses to physical activity might be generated. Results are further discussed in terms of the measurement of exercise-induced feeling states and future applications of the EFI.

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Sirinun Boripuntakul and Somporn Sungkarat

The objective of this study was to examine the association between cognitive ability and gait initiation performance in older adults. Global and specific cognitive functions and spatiotemporal gait parameters during gait initiation were assessed in 60 older adults. Multivariate linear regression was conducted to determine the association between cognitive functions and gait initiation parameters. Results showed that global cognitive function was not associated with any of the spatiotemporal parameters. Poorer performance on measures of executive function and language ability were associated with shorter step length, narrower step width, and longer step time. In addition, poorer performance on test of visuospatial ability was associated with longer step time. In conclusion, specific but not global cognitive functions were associated with gait initiation performance. Clinical gait examination should incorporate gait initiation and cognitive assessments. Rehabilitation strategies aimed at improving cognition and gait initiation performance may be beneficial for preventing falls.

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Edward McAuley

The relationships between efficacy cognitions and causal attributions for exercise progress, and their impact on affective responses, were examined in a sample of previously sedentary middle-aged individuals 10 weeks into an exercise program. Employing theoretical propositions put forth by Bandura (1986) and Weiner (1985), it was hypothesized that exercise efficacy would influence causal attributions and affective responses to exercise participation. Path analysis demonstrated that greater exercise frequency resulted in more internal, somewhat stable, and personally controllable attributions for perceived exercise progress. More efficacious subjects also attributed their progress to more personally controllable causes. All three causal dimensions were related to positive affect, and efficacy had significant direct and indirect effects on affect. The results are discussed with respect to the need to more closely examine the role affect might play in exercise over time, as opposed to single bouts of exercise. Furthermore, the necessity for studying complex interplays of cognitive determinants of exercise behavior is discussed.

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Chris Harwood and Austin Swain

This study acts as a follow-up to a previous investigation into the development and activation of achievement goals within young tennis players (Harwood & Swain, 2001). The project investigated the effects of a season-long player, parent, and coach intervention program on goal involvement responses, self-regulation, competition cognitions, and goal orientations of three junior tennis players. First, each player reported goal involvement, self-regulation, self-efficacy, and perceptions of threat and challenge prior to three ego-involving match situations. Aligned with a matched control participant, each treatment player, with their parents and coach, engaged in educational sessions and cognitive-motivational tasks over a three-month competition and training period. Postintervention, positive directional changes were reported in all players except the control participant. This study reinforces to applied researchers and practitioners the importance and practicability of social-cognitive and task-based interventions designed to facilitate optimal, motivational, and psychological states in high pressure competitive situations.

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Waneen W. Spirduso

Maintaining health and postponing chronic disease are assuming a higher priority in our aging society. It is therefore more critical than ever to understand the specific contribution that exercise makes toward the achievement of independent and healthy living for as many individuals as possible. Scientists have already shown that exercise plays an important role in maintaining cardiovascular health, muscular strength and endurance, balance, flexibility, and neuromuscular coordination. What remains for researchers of the future is to clarify the relationships among fitness, cognition, emotional health, and well-being in the elderly. More important, the greatest challenge for future researchers is to determine how an adult population that recognizes the benefits of exercise but continues to be sedentary can be transformed into a population that incorporates an adequate level of physical activity into its lifestyle.