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Carolyn Vos Strache, Alana Strong and Cheree Peterson

The omnipresent physical self remains for young adult females a significant measure of self-worth. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that coping strategies are as complex as they are pervasive as young women strive to maintain positive psychological outlooks despite negatively-perceived physical attributes. Self-presentational concerns may affect one’s activity choice.

This study expands on the work of Taylor, Neter, and Wayment (1995) to determine which motives guide the self-evaluation processes of the physical self. An examination of structured interviews identifies which motives direct women in the self-evaluation of their bodies, and concurrently examines whether different motives determine individual response when appraising a “good” versus “not good” physical aspect. Motives, as defined by Taylor et al. (1995), were self-enhancement, self-verification, self-improvement and self-assessment. Interviews were conducted with 30 female, Southern California, undergraduate college students from Southern California, ranging in age from 19-22.

A chi-square analysis revealed that women employed different motives in “good” versus “not good” body aspect comparisons (Enhancement: X2 = 21.78 p< .01; Verification: X2 = 10.05 p< .01; Improvement: X2 = 5.15 p< .05). When describing a “good” aspect, women employed the enhancement motive 92 percent of the time, verification 80 percent of the time, and improvement 15 percent of the time. For “not good” aspects, women used enhancement motive 53 percent of the time, verification 98 percent of the time, and improvement 33 percent of the time. Women used more than one motive 74 percent of the time and single motives only 26 percent of the time in the evaluation process. Direct quotes reveal that almost all the women sought out information about themselves when they thought it would reflect favorably. However, when they reported on a “not good” aspect, coping mechanisms included redirecting their attention to more positive characteristics or mentally cordoning off an area of weakness to prevent that attribute from permeating all aspects of their identity. Understanding how we think in the self-evaluation process may offer an explanation why some people are motivated to exercise and why others are not.

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Anthony J. Amorose

This study examined: (a) the prevalence of intraindividual variability (i.e., the degree to which individuals exhibit short-term fluctuations in their self-evaluations) of global self-worth, physical self-worth, and perceived physical competence; (b) the independent and combined influence of level and intraindividual variability of self-evaluations on students’ motivation; and (c) the relationship between social sources of evaluative information and intraindividual variability. Students (N = 167) ranging from 12 to 15 years of age (M = 13.48 yrs, SD = .56) completed questionnaires each day that they were in physical education class for 3 weeks (i.e., 6 occasions). Results revealed that most of the students exhibited fluctuations in their self-evaluations over the 3 weeks. Level of self-evaluations was the critical predictor of motivation; however, an interaction with intraindividual variability was also significant. Nonsignificant relationships were found between intraindividual variability and the importance that students placed on social sources of evaluative information. Overall, results indicated that intraindividual variability should be considered along with level as an important index of one’s self-perception profile.

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Jane P. Sheldon

One’s perceived competence relates to participation and effort and can vary depending on the self-evaluation sources that athletes value. Ruble and Frey (1991) theorized that phase of skill development may affect one’s preference for different sorts of competence information. The present study tested Ruble and Frey’s model using a sample of 466 adult tennis players. Skill level was athletes’ United States Tennis Association rating. Participants rated the personal importance of tennis and the importance of different sources of self-assessment information. Results showed that beginners were more likely to value temporal comparisons, and advanced players were more likely to value social comparisons. Players rating tennis as highly important were more likely to value temporal comparisons and effort for self-assessment. The findings support Ruble and Frey’s model.

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Amber D. Mosewich, Kent C. Kowalski, Catherine M. Sabiston, Whitney A. Sedgwick and Jessica L. Tracy

Self-compassion has demonstrated many psychological benefits (Neff, 2009). In an effort to explore self-compassion as a potential resource for young women athletes, we explored relations among self-compassion, proneness to self-conscious emotions (i.e., shame, guilt-free shame, guilt, shame-free guilt, authentic pride, and hubristic pride), and potentially unhealthy self-evaluative thoughts and behaviors (i.e., social physique anxiety, obligatory exercise, objectified body consciousness, fear of failure, and fear of negative evaluation). Young women athletes (N = 151; M age = 15.1 years) participated in this study. Self-compassion was negatively related to shame proneness, guilt-free shame proneness, social physique anxiety, objectified body consciousness, fear of failure, and fear of negative evaluation. In support of theoretical propositions, self-compassion explained variance beyond self-esteem on shame proneness, guilt-free shame proneness, shame-free guilt proneness, objectified body consciousness, fear of failure, and fear of negative evaluation. Results suggest that, in addition to self-esteem promotion, self-compassion development may be beneficial in cultivating positive sport experiences for young women.

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Thelma Sternberg Horn and Cynthia A. Hasbrook

Theory and research from the developmental psychology literature Indicate there is a developmental progression in the particular criteria or informational sources children use to evaluate their performance competencies. The present study was designed to test the possibility that certain psychological characteristics (i.e., perceived competence and perceived performance control) may also affect children's preference for the various sources of competence information that are available in the sport environment. Three psychological questionnaires were administered to 229 young soccer athletes to assess the variables of Interest. Multivariate regression and canonical correlation analyses revealed support for the predicted relationships. Children with external perceptions of performance control exhibited a greater preference for external information, while children with high perceived competence and an internal perception of control exhibited greater reliance on self-determined standards of performance and comparison of own performance with that of relevant peers. These results suggest that children differ from each other not only in the magnitude of their perceptions of competence but also in the criteria they use to evaluate that competence.

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Lavon Williams

This study examined the relationship between goal orientations and preferences for sources of competence information. It was hypothesized that athletes higher in ego goal orientation would have a greater preference for game outcome, significant others' evaluation, and peer comparison, whereas athletes higher in task goal orientation would have a greater preference for learning, effort, and improvement as sources of competence information. To test this hypothesis, 152 high school athletes (78 females and 74 males) completed the Task and Ego Orientation in Sport Questionnaire (TEOSQ) and the Sport Competence Information Scale (SCIS). A principal component factor analysis on the SCIS identified seven information sources. Canonical correlations revealed an overall trend whereby task goal orientation is associated with more self-referenced sources, and ego orientation is related to more norm-referenced sources of information.

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Suzete Chiviacowsky and Ricardo Drews

In this experiment, we investigated the motivational effects of feedback on motor learning observing the impact of temporal-comparison feedback on the learning of a coincident timing task. Two groups of participants, a positive (PTC) and a negative temporal-comparison group (NTC), received veridical feedback about their accuracy scores after every other practice trial (50%). In addition, after each block of 10 trials, the PTC group was given bogus feedback suggesting that their average performance was better than it was in the previous block, while the NTC group received bogus feedback suggesting that their average performance was worse than it was in the previous block. A retention test was performed one day after the practice phase, without feedback, to observe learning effects. In addition, after the practice phase and before the retention test, all participants filled out questionnaires to report their self-efficacy levels. The results demonstrate that temporal-comparison feedback affects the learning of motor skills. Participants of the PTC group showed greater timing accuracy and reported higher self-efficacy levels than the NTC group on the retention test. The findings further support the important motivational role of feedback for motor learning.

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Cameron J. Powden, Matthew C. Hoch and Johanna M. Hoch

characterize the phenomenon known as response shift (RS). 5 , 6 Response shift phenomenon is when an individual’s self-evaluation of a construct is altered due to changes in internal standards of measurement (recalibration), changes in values (reprioritization), or a personal redefinition of the construct

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Yoojin Suh, Madeline Weikert, Deirdre Dlugonski, Brian Sandroff and Robert W. Motl


Persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) are often physically inactive and sedentary. This observation has prompted the search for modifiable variables derived from established theories that act as correlates of physical activity. Such variables would presumably represent targets for interventions designed to promote change in physical activity behavior among persons with MS. The current study examined social cognitive variables as correlates of physical activity in persons with MS.


Persons (N = 218) with relapsing-remitting MS completed a questionnaire battery that assessed physical activity behavior; self-efficacy for physical activity; physical, social, and self-evaluative outcome expectations for exercise, functional limitations as an impediment for physical activity, and exercise goal-setting. The battery was delivered and returned through the US postal service. Data were analyzed using covariance modeling in Mplus 3.0.


Self-efficacy had indirect effects on physical activity via impediments (path coefficient = .10, P < .005), self-evaluative outcome expectations (path coefficient = .07, P < .025), and goal-setting (path coefficient = .09, P < .01). The model explained 40% of variance in self-reported physical activity.


This cross-sectional study suggests that self-efficacy is indirectly associated with physical activity by way of goals, self-evaluative outcome expectations, and impediments in persons with relapsing-remitting MS.

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Ellen O’Reilly, Sandy Romanow, Mamie Rutledge, Jamie Covey, James Mandigo and Ellen O’Reilly

How do adolescent girls self-evaluate their ability to throw with force? Does this evaluation alter if the characteristics of their participating group vary by such factors as gender or perceived abili ty? What importance do females attach to this skill? How does self assessment concerning the ability to throw with force affect identity formation in adolescent girls? These questions guided our study on adolescent girls’ perceptions of the importance of being able to throw overhand with force. The data for this study were collected during a series of health and activity sessions available to girls from a diversity of cultures and ethnic groups attending middle-class junior and senior high schools located in a large western Canadian city. Self-evaluation questionnaires were completed by 195 adoles cent female participants as part of an activity session focused on overhand throwing. Statistical analysis of the numbered preference responses, and qualitative assessment of additional written comments enabled the research team to document the contemporary female experience of throwing, with particular consideration given to technique, attitudes, and the personal meaning adolescent girls attribute to the development of a fundamental motor skill.