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Rainer Martens

Two sport psychologies have emerged—academic sport psychology and practicing sport psychology—which presently are on diverging courses because of an unjustified belief in orthodox science as the primary source of knowledge. To support this contention, the basic assumptions of orthodox science are examined, with the doctrine of objectivity singled out as fallacious and especially harmful in that it attempts to remove the person from the process of knowing. Polanyi’s (1958) heuristic philosophy of knowledge, which places humans in the center of the process of knowing, is recommended as an alternative approach for the study of human behavior. This alternative approach reveals the inadequacy of the laboratory experiment which has been invented primarily to pursue the doctrine of objectivity. Next, the Degrees of Knowledge theory is proposed as an alternative way to view the reliability of knowledge. This view, within the heuristic paradigm, places great significance on experiential knowledge. Recommendations for an improved science of human behavior emphasizes the idiographic approach, introspective methods, and field studies. Also, recommendations are made for a more progressive approach to applied research, and the significance of knowledge synthesis from applied research. The two sport psychologies will converge when orthodox science and the doctrine of objectivity are replaced with the heuristic paradigm and its emphasis on experiential knowledge.

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Garry D. Wheeler

The biological area of adapted physical activity research has traditionally been dominated by the positivist or rational empirical paradigm, or the scientific method. Underlying assumptions of the inquirer and inquired’s objectivity and independence have generated much criticism. Researchers have argued that the scientific method produces an impoverished view of reality and that claims to an objective and value-free stance are ideological and mythical. Critique of rational-empiricism, the scientific method, present science, or the received-view may be understood at three levels: intraparadigmatic, extraparadigmatic, and intramethod. Dr. Shephard (1998) addresses the latter in his paper and as such, his is a method-based approach. A methodological analysis, however, requires examining the underlying tacit assumptions of the scientific method. In this paper, critique of the scientific method is offered and justification of the critique examined. Proposed alternatives include an expansionist view of research, inclusion of subjective elements, triangulated designs, and empowerment of subjects.

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George T. Baker III and George R. Martin

Aging is characterized by numerous physical, physiological, biochemical, and molecular changes. The rates at which aging processes occur are highly variable among individuals and are thought to be governed by both environmental and genetic factors. Lifestyle factors such as exercise, dietary, and smoking habits have been demonstrated to alter many of the changes usually associated with human aging. However, at present caloric restriction is the only experimental paradigm that has consistently been demonstrated in animal models to extend not only physiological vigor but also life span. The positive effects of exercise on physiological fitness and the reduction in the risks of certain diseases have been well documented. However, its effects on life span are not as clear. This article explores some of the basic mechanisms thought to be involved causally in the processes of aging, and outlines current and potential interventive strategies to retard or ameliorate the rates of decline in physiological function with advancing age.

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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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Barbara E. Ainsworth and Steven P. Hooker

The health-enhancing benefits of regular physical activity have been theorized for thousands of years. Within the past 25 years, public health agencies, health-related organizations, and health-focused foundations have recognized regular physical activity as a major factor in preventing premature morbidity and mortality. Colleges and universities have experienced a paradigm shift in applying public health strategies to prepare graduates in understanding how to reduce the impact of sedentary lifestyles on health outcomes. For nearly 20 years, some kinesiology departments have expanded from traditional curricula to new courses and degrees in promoting physical activity in the community, the application of epidemiology concepts to physical activity, and the study of policy and environmental approaches to promoting physical activity. Given the high prevalence of physical activity insufficient to prevent premature morbidity and mortality, continuing educational efforts are needed to assure kinesiology students have the skills and information needed to promote physical activity in communities to people of all ages and abilities.

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Marcos Rodrigo Trindade Pinheiro Menuchi and Lilian Teresa Bucken Gobbi

Locomotion generates a visual movement pattern characterized as optic flow. To explore how the locomotor adjustments are affected by this pattern, an experimental paradigm was developed to eliminate optic flow during obstacle avoidance. The aim was to investigate the contribution of optic flow in obstacle avoidance by using a stroboscopic lamp. Ten young adults walked on an 8m pathway and stepped over obstacles at two heights. Visual sampling was determined by a stroboscopic lamp (static and dynamic visual sampling). Three-dimensional kinematics data showed that the visual information about self-motion provided by the optic flow was crucial for estimating the distance from and the height of the obstacle. Participants presented conservative behavior for obstacle avoidance under experimental visual sampling conditions, which suggests that optic flow favors the coupling of vision to adaptive behavior for obstacle avoidance.

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Cheryl Glazebrook, Digby Elliott, James Lyons and Luc Tremblay

This study investigated inhibition of return in persons with and without Down syndrome (DS) when visual or verbal cues were used to specify a target in a crossmodal paradigm. Individuals with DS and without DS performed manual aiming movements to a target located in right or left hemispace. The target was specified by an endogenous visual or verbal stimulus. Both groups were significantly slower when responding to the same target as the previous trial when the target was cued in a different modality. Although participants with DS initiated and executed their movements more slowly, they demonstrated a similar pattern of inhibition as people without DS, suggesting that inhibitory processes are functioning normally in persons with DS.

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Sally Shaw, Richard Wolfe and Wendy Frisby

Sport management education has developed in a manner consistent with conventional management education, focusing on traditional instrumental performance measures and largely ignoring wider social considerations. We endeavour to contribute to the advancement of critical approaches in sport management education. While arguing for the benefits of a sport management education that addresses the complex social issues faced in sport, we provide illustrations of critical teaching in sport management, offering examples from personal pedagogical experience. We conclude with a discussion of pragmatic issues faced in adopting a critical orientation within sport management. Our aim is to provide an approach framed by critical thought that can be used to complement existing teaching paradigms to enhance and bolster the rigour and depth of teaching in sport management.

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Alan G. Ingham and Peter Donnelly

As we pass the 30th anniversary of a recognized sociology of sport in North America, it is appropriate to develop a current sociological analysis of the subdiscipline. In the first part we examine the origins of the field and the development of the Wisconsin socialization paradigm and the social problems perspective. In the second part we explore the critical shift in the field, emerging from an engagement with C. Wright Mills, and the development of a political economy perspective. In the third part we review the turn to Antonio Gramsci and cultural studies, focusing particularly on the themes of gender and the body. We conclude by considering whether, given the current eclecticism, sociology of sport is still a legitimate description of our field.

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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.