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Christopher M. Janelle, Robert N. Singer and A. Mark Williams

We examined distraction and attentional narrowing in a dual-task auto-racing simulation. Participants were randomly assigned to six groups: distraction control, distraction anxiety, relevant control, relevant anxiety, central control, and central anxiety. Those in central conditions performed a driving task; the other four groups identified peripheral lights in addition to driving. Irrelevant peripheral lights were included in distraction conditions. Participants in anxiety conditions were exposed to increasing levels of anxiety via a time-to-event paradigm. In 3 sessions of 20 trials, measures of cognitive anxiety, arousal. visual search patterns, and performance were recorded. At higher levels of anxiety, the identification of peripheral lights became slower and less accurate. and significant performance decrements occurred in central and peripheral tasks. Furthermore, visual search patterns were more eccentric in the distraction anxiety group. Results suggest that drivers who are highly anxious experience an altered ability to acquire peripheral information at the perceptual level.

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Julie DiMatteo, Cynthia Radnitz, Katharine L. Loeb and Jingwen Ni

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine if automatic enrollment in exercise-promoting courses on a college campus, with a choice to opt out, would increase enrollment. Method: In a simulated course selection paradigm, 317 college students were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: optimal default (automatic enrollment in an active physical education well-being course with the choice to opt out to a sedentary alternative), suboptimal default (automatic enrollment in a sedentary well-being course with the option to select an alternative active physical education courses), or free choice. Data were analyzed using logistic regression. Results: Participants in the optimal default condition were significantly more likely to enroll in an active physical education well-being course compared with those in the suboptimal-default and free-choice conditions. Discussion/Conclusions: Setting optimal physical education course defaults in the college environment can promote student health by increasing the likelihood of enrolling in exercise-promoting courses.

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Daniel Memmert and Philip Furley

Failures of awareness are common when attention is otherwise engaged. Such failures are prevalent in attention-demanding team sports, but surprisingly no studies have explored the inattentional blindness paradigm in complex sport game-related situations. The purpose of this paper is to explore the link between breadth of attention, inattentional blindness, and tactical decision-making in team ball sports. A series of studies revealed that inattentional blindness exists in the area of team ball sports (Experiment 1). More tactical instructions can lead to a narrower breadth of attention, which increases inattentional blindness, whereas fewer tactical instructions widen the breadth of attention in the area of team ball sports (Experiment 2). Further meaningful exogenous stimuli reduce inattentional blindness (Experiment 3). The results of all experiments are discussed in connection with consciousness and attention theories as well as creativity and training in team sports.

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Vikki Krane

Martens (1987) and Dewar and Horn (1992) expressed the need for accepting diverse epistemological perspectives in sport psychology. This paper proposes feminism as an alternative approach to sport psychology research. Feminism grew out of dissatisfaction with “science-as-usual” that often overlooks the experiences of females and acknowledges that sport behavior does not occur in a value-free vacuum; male and female athletes are exposed to very different situations and experiences in sport. A reexamination of the knowledge base, with particular attention to the experiences of females, is needed. Because discontentment with logical positivism has led researchers in a variety of fields to adopt a feminist perspective, a brief critique of logical positivism is provided. A feminist paradigm and feminist methodologies are described, showing how they can enhance knowledge in sport psychology. Finally, examples of feminist inquiry in sport psychology are provided.

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Lynette L. Craft and Daniel M. Landers

The effect of exercise on negative affect has been examined in hundreds of studies. However, the effect of exercise on diagnosed clinical depression has received far less attention. Furthermore, poor methodological techniques predominate and results have been conflicting. A meta-analysis was conducted to investigate the effect of exercise on clinical depression and depression resulting from mental illness. The chosen studies examined the effect of a chronic exercise paradigm (independent variable) on depression (dependent variable). Each study’s variables were coded: design, subjects, exercise, and dependent measure characteristics that could moderate the effect of exercise on depression. Moderator variables were analyzed using analysis of variance (ANOVA). Results from 30 studies showed an overall mean effect of −.72. Therefore, individuals who exercised were −.72 of a standard deviation less depressed than individuals who did not exercise. Moderating variables and implications for the prescription of exercise as an effective treatment for depression are discussed.

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Guy Faulkner and Andrew Sparkes

As part of the emergence of alternative research paradigms in exercise and sport psychology, we draw upon data from an ethnographic study of 3 individuals with schizophrenia to explore the use of exercise as an adjunct therapy for schizophrenia. A 10-week exercise program of twice-weekly sessions was implemented. Participant observation and interviews with participants and their assigned key-workers were the primary sources of data collection used. The influence of exercise on the lives of participants and their mental health and the underlying mechanisms of change were explored. Our findings indicate that exercise has the potential to help reduce participants’ perceptions of auditory hallucinations, raise self-esteem, and improve sleep patterns and general behavior. The process of exercising, via the provision of distraction and social interaction rather than the exercise itself, was very influential in providing these benefits. In conclusion, we strongly recommend the inclusion of exercise as an adjunct treatment in psychiatric rehabilitation.

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Lesley Ferkins and David Shilbury

To learn more about the governance of sport organizations, this study explored what meaning board members of national sport organizations (NSOs) attach to the concept of “strategic capability”. In so doing, the inquiry also identified factors considered to constrain or enable board strategic function. This paper draws on a body of knowledge developed over 38 years on board strategic function, primarily from the commercial setting but also from the emerging body of work in the nonprofit and sport governance setting. Located within the interpretive research paradigm this study engaged a range of different qualitative methods including cognitive mapping and visual imagery. Working across two NSOs in New Zealand, four elements were generated that served as reference points in mapping out the meaning of a strategically able board. These were categorized as the need to have capable people, a frame of reference, facilitative board processes, and facilitative regional relationships.

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Leonie Oostwoud Wijdenes, Eli Brenner and Jeroen B.J. Smeets

This study set out to determine whether the fastest online hand movement corrections are only responses to changing judgments of the targets’ position or whether they are also influenced by the apparent target motion. Introducing a gap between when a target disappears and when it reappears at a new position in a double-step paradigm disrupts the apparent motion, so we examined the influence of such a gap on the intensity of the response. We found that responses to target perturbations with disrupted apparent motion were less vigorous. The response latency was 10 ms shorter when there was a gap, which might be related to the gap effect that has previously been described for initiating eye and hand movements.

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Suzanne Malia Lawrence, C. Keith Harrison and Jeff Stone

Perceptual confirmation paradigm (PCP) rooted in social psychology, can be implemented to frame sport science research questions (Stone, Perry, & Darley, 1997). Public perception of college athletes’ lives has been scarcely investigated in the sport sciences (Keels, 2005) using the PCP to prime stereotypes. The purpose of this study was to prime stereotypes about a day in the life of a college athlete by using qualitative inquiry to assess college students’ (N = 87) perceptions. Participants provided written responses about a day in the life of a college athlete. Two different college athlete targets were used “Tyrone Walker” (n = 44) and “Erik Walker” (n = 43). Four major themes and one minor theme emerged which are descriptive of the participants’ perceptions. Findings were related to the leadership responsibilities of sport management practitioners in higher education. Future research inquiries and relevant suggestions were articulated for sport management scholars in the 21st century.

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Arend W. A. Van Gemmert and Hans-Leo Teulings

The term graphonomics refers to the scientific and technological effort involved in identifying relationships between the planning and generation of handwriting and drawing movements, the resulting spatial traces of writing and drawing instruments (either conventional or electronic), and the dynamic features of these traces (International Graphonomics Society, 1987). Since the term graphonomics was coined in 1982, the multidisciplinary nature of graphonomic research has attracted scientists in several fundamental and applied areas, including motor control, motor learning, motor development, movement disorders, neuropsychology, biophysics, forensic science, computer science, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, among others. The many different research areas that are represented at the biennial conferences of the International Graphonomic Society (IGS) are exemplified by the variety of research papers published in special issues and books resulting from these conferences (cf. Meulenbroek & Van Gemmert, 2003; Simner & Girouard, 2000; Van Galen & Morasso, 1998; Simner, Leedham, & Thomassen, 1996; Faure, Keuss, Lorette, & Vinter, 1994; Simner, Hulstijn, & Girouard, 1994; Plamondon, 1993; Van Galen & Stelmach, 1993; Van Galen, Thomassen, & Wing, 1991; Wann, Wing, & Søvik, 1991; Plamondon & Leedham, 1990; Plamondon, Suen, & Simner, 1989; Kao, Van Galen, & Hoosain, 1986; Thomassen, Keuss, Van Galen, & Grootveld, 1983). Starting at the 10th IGS conference in Nijmegen, 2001, the influence of multidisciplinary collaborations and technical advancements expanded the scope of paradigms of researchers interested in graphonomics (e.g., finger control, isometric force control, brain imaging). This expansion of paradigms and the multidisciplinary nature of graphonomic research was pushed further into the center of fine motor control at the 11th IGS conference held in Scottsdale, 2003. This special issue of Motor Control, containing papers from this conference, exemplifies this progress.