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Kathye E. Light and Waneen W. Spirduso

Unlike stimulus–response compatibility, which has been explored for aging effects, the motor behavior issue of response–response (R–R) compatibility has not been addressed in the gerontological literature. R–R compatibility refers to the ease with which two responses can be prepared together either simultaneously or as choice alternatives. In the present study, young, middle-aged, and elderly adult female subjects were tested in a two-choice reaction-time (RT) paradigm involving four types of finger movements paired in every possible choice combination, creating different levels of R–R compatibility. Significant age differences increased as R–R compatibility decreased. The practical significance of this study is to establish R–R compatibility as an important factor influencing task difficulty to which older adults are particularly sensitive and to encourage recognition of this factor when prescribing progressive motor-skill training in elderly clients.

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Noam Eyal, Michael Bar-Eli, Gershon Tenenbaum and Joan S. Pie

The aim of this study was to examine whether outcome expectations can be generalized from one defined task to other tasks. A deception paradigm was employed in which outcome expectations were manipulated. High, low, or medium expectations toward performing five tasks, which gradually increased in complexity and shared a common skill, were manipulated. Ninety adult males were randomly assigned to manipulation groups. A within-subjects repeated measures ANOVA indicated that those manipulated by medium expectations showed elevated perceptions of outcome expectations. Their performance, however, was superior only in the two tasks most similar in complexity to the initial task. On the less similar tasks, the differences among the groups were insignificant. A generalization effect can therefore be demonstrated on outcome expectations and performance to a certain degree of task complexity. Implications of the superior performance of participants manipulated to produce medium outcome expectations are discussed.

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Robin S. Vealey

The editorial mission of The Sport Psychologist (TSP) emphasizes the development and implementation of knowledge to enhance the practice of sport psychology. A comprehensive review of all articles published in TSP from 1987 to 1992 was conducted to identify significant trends in knowledge development and implementation since the journal was established. One hundred seventy-six articles were examined and classified based on design, method, objective (scientific or professional), subject characteristics, author characteristics, and content area. Trends that were identified from the review include an emphasis on correlational designs, an increase in intervention studies and the use of case designs, and homogeneity of subjects and authors. Three future directions for advances in applied sport psychology are advocated to increase social relevance, enhance creativity, and reconceptualize the traditional paradigm of knowledge development.

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Fuzhong Li, K. John Fisher, Adrian Bauman, Marcia G. Ory, Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, Peter Harmer, Mark Bosworth and Minot Cleveland

Over the past few years, attention has been drawn to the importance of neighborhood influences on physical activity behavior and the need to consider a multilevel analysis involving not only individual-level variables but also social-and physical-environment variables at the neighborhood level in explaining individual differences in physical activity outcomes. This new paradigm raises a series of issues concerning systems of influence observed at different hierarchical levels (e.g., individuals, neighborhoods) and variables that can be defined at each level. This article reviews research literature and discusses substantive, operational, and statistical issues in studies involving multilevel influences on middle-aged and older adults’ physical activity. To encourage multilevel research, the authors propose a model that focuses attention on multiple levels of influence and the interaction among variables characterizing individuals, among variables characterizing neighborhoods, and across both levels. They conclude that a multilevel perspective is needed to increase understanding of the multiple influences on physical activity.

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Lawrence R. Brawley and Kathleen A. Martin

Over the past three decades, an interface has developed between sport and social psychology, characterized primarily by commonly utilized concepts and theories. The list of social psychological benefits to sport psychology is lengthy and includes theory, hypotheses, research paradigms, general independent and dependent variables, methods, and measures. In this paper, the following areas of sport research are used to illustrate the interface between sport and social psychology: (a) social facilitation and cohesion as two social influence phenomena, (b) anxiety and goal orientations as personality moderators of social behavior, and (c) self-efficacy beliefs and attitudes as social cognitions relevant to motivated behavior. Each of these areas are discussed in terms of social psychology’s impact on its development as a line of research in sport and in terms of the recent contributions each has made in return to social psychology. The general nature of the interface of social and sport psychology is also discussed.

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Matthew Pain and Chris Harwood

This article describes a team building intervention with a soccer team during a competitive season. Based on a mutual sharing paradigm we facilitated a series of four team meetings in which team functioning was openly discussed. These meetings were based upon highly structured performance reviews completed by players after each match and analyzed to provide the stimulus for discussion. We adopted a single-case, time series design with multiple pretests and posttests. A postintervention focus group was also conducted with the players. Results suggest the intervention led to improvements in perceptions of team functioning (cohesion, communication, and trust and confidence in teammates), training quality, self-understanding, player ownership and team performance. Players associated the meetings with themes of honesty, open team discussion, sharing of information, and improved communication. The results support the efficacy of team building interventions designed to encourage open discussion of team functioning.

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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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Robert Russell, Jared Porter and Olivia Campbell

This study examined the interaction between a skill/extraneous attentional focus and an internal/external focus of attention using a dual-task paradigm. Thirty-two low-skill participants completed a primary dart-throwing task with their dominant arm while simultaneously performing a secondary arm-stabilizing task with their nondominant arm. Two aspects of the participants’ attentional focus were manipulated: skill versus extraneous focus and external versus internal focus. Participants completed 120 trials across four conditions created by combining the dimensions of the two variables. Performance on the primary task was assessed by measuring throwing accuracy and the kinematics of the throwing action. Results indicated that accuracy improved under the external, skill-oriented condition relative to all other conditions; no differences between the remaining conditions were observed. These findings suggest that an external, skill-oriented focus of attention is needed to facilitate performance improvements in novices.

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Juliette Stebbings, Ian M. Taylor, Christopher M. Spray and Nikos Ntoumanis

Embedded in the self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 2000) framework, we obtained self-report data from 418 paid and voluntary coaches from a variety of sports and competitive levels with the aim of exploring potential antecedents of coaches’ perceived autonomy supportive and controlling behaviors. Controlling for socially desirable responses, structural equation modeling revealed that greater job security and opportunities for professional development, and lower work–life conflict were associated with psychological need satisfaction, which, in turn, was related to an adaptive process of psychological well-being and perceived autonomy support toward athletes. In contrast, higher work–life conflict and fewer opportunities for development were associated with a distinct maladaptive process of thwarted psychological needs, psychological ill-being, and perceived controlling interpersonal behavior. The results highlight how the coaching context may impact upon coaches’ psychological health and their interpersonal behavior toward athletes. Moreover, evidence is provided for the independence of adaptive and maladaptive processes within the self-determination theory paradigm.

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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.