Causal attributions for poor performance were explored. Male athletes specializing in one of three track-and-field events—jumping, sprinting, or throwing—read a vignette about another jumper, sprinter, or thrower who performed below expectations, and a fourth vignette about a pole vaulter who performed above expectations. After each vignette, subjects were asked to list three factors that contributed to the performance of the target person. It was predicted that when the ego involvement of subjects was high (rating an athlete from their own specialty area), they would be more likely to make situational attributions than when their ego involvement was low (rating an athlete from another specialty area). This prediction was generally supported. Subjects also made more dispositional attributions for the successful performance than for the unsuccessful one. It is suggested that knowledge of the role played by ego involvement in attributions would help coaches maintain group morale.
James Luginbuhl and Arnold Bell
E. Whitney G. Moore and Karen Weiller-Abels
examine the effects of emphasizing effort, improvement, and cooperative learning (i.e., task-involving climate); or intra-group rivalry, punishment of mistakes, and favoritism (i.e., ego-involving climate) to understand the effect of the coach created climate on athletes’ motivation ( Fry & Moore, 2019
Sheryl Miller and Mary Fry
in achievement settings. In an ego-involving climate, instructors perceive that promoting competition and employing normative standards of performance to define individuals’ ability will enhance motivation ( Brown & Fry, 2013 ). Strategies that reinforce this climate include fostering rivalry among
Kristen Lucas and E. Whitney G. Moore
motivational climate—task- or ego-involving—that they create ( Nicholls, 1989 ). Intervention research has supported that whichever motivational climate individuals are exposed to in an achievement setting increases the participants’ adoption of the matching goal orientation ( Todorovich & Curtner-Smith, 2002
Luke Sage and Maria Kavussanu
In this experiment we examined the effects of task and ego involvement on three measures of moral behavior—prosocial choice, observed prosocial behavior, and observed antisocial behavior—in a competitive setting. We also investigated sex differences in moral behavior. Male (n = 48) and female (n = 48) college students were randomly assigned to a task-involving, an ego-involving, or a control condition. Participants played two 10-min games of table soccer and completed measures of prosocial choice, goal involvement, goal orientation, and demographics. The two games were recorded, and frequencies of prosocial and antisocial behavior were coded. Players assigned to the task-involving condition were higher in prosocial choice than those in the ego-involving or control conditions. Individuals in the ego-involving condition displayed more antisocial behaviors than those in the task-involving or control conditions. Finally, females displayed more prosocial behaviors than males.
Pepijn K.C. van de Pol, Maria Kavussanu and Christopher Ring
This study examined whether (a) training and competition influence achievement goals, effort, enjoyment, tension, and performance; (b) achievement goals mediate the effects of training and competition on effort, enjoyment, tension, and performance; and (c) the context influences the relationships between goals and effort, enjoyment, tension, and performance. Participants (32 males, 28 females; M age = 19.12 years) performed a golf-putting task in a training condition and a competition condition and completed measures of goal involvement, effort, enjoyment, and tension; putting performance was also measured. Both task and ego involvement varied across training and competition, and variation in ego involvement explained variation in effort and enjoyment between these conditions. Ego involvement positively predicted effort in training and performance in competition, and interacted positively with task involvement to predict effort and enjoyment in competition. Our findings suggest that the distinction between training and competition is a valuable one when examining individuals’ achievement motivation.
Susumu Iwasaki and Mary D. Fry
This study highlights how sport psychology professionals can assist sport administrators in evaluating and strengthening youth sport programs. A sport psychology research team provided expertise to two sport administrators to develop a survey to examine their athletes’ experiences participating in the programs. The study examines the relationship between athletes’ perceptions of the climate (caring, task, and ego involving) to their intrinsic motivation, caring behaviors, and future intention to participate in the sport. Volleyball clinic (Sample 1: N = 71) and basketball summer camp (Sample 2: N = 138) participants completed the survey. Canonical correlation analyses for each sample revealed one significant function indicating that the athletes’ perceptions of a caring/task-involving climate, along with low perceptions of an ego-involving climate, were associated with higher levels of intrinsic motivation, caring behaviors, and future desire to participate. Sport administrators can use this information for coach training, parent education and overall program evaluation.
Michael Reinboth and Joan L. Duda
Grounded in achievement goal theory (Nicholls, 1989), the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of the perceived motivational climate and perceptions of ability to indices of psychological and physical well-being among male adolescents taking part in team sports. Participants were 265 adolescent soccer and cricket players. Reported self-esteem was the lowest among low perceived ability athletes participating in an environment that was perceived to be high in its ego-involving features, but high among athletes perceiving a highly task-involving environment regardless of their perceptions of competence. Contingent self-esteem, physical exhaustion, and reported physical symptoms were positively predicted by perceptions of an ego-involving climate. The results suggest that an examination of variations in the perceived motivational climate may provide further insight into whether sport participation can be health promotive or potentially damaging to athletes’ welfare.
Theresa C. Brown and Mary D. Fry
This study examined the relationship between college students’ perceptions of the motivational climate (i.e., caring, task- and ego-involving) in physical activity courses to their physical self-concept, hope, and happiness. Midwestern university undergraduates (N = 412), enrolled in group physical activity classes, completed the following measures: class climate, physical self-concept, hope, and happiness. Canonical correlation analysis revealed that students who perceived a caring, task-involving climate were more likely to report high physical self-concept, hope, and happiness. A gender comparison found that while perceptions of the ego-involving climate were significantly higher for males, the ego climate did not significantly contribute to the males’ canonical correlation. In addition, while physical self-concept was positively associated with climate for both genders, males were more likely to experience higher physical self-concept than females. Results suggest positive and supportive exercise environments may not only help individuals reap the physical benefits of exercise but also the psychological benefits.
Theresa C. Brown and Mary D. Fry
This study examined the effects of a university recreation center intervention aimed at increasing members’ perceptions of a caring, task-involving climate. In addition, members’ perceptions of staff behaviors and their own behaviors were measured. College students (N = 282) completed questionnaires before and after an intervention designed to increase perceptions of a caring, task-involving climate. Results revealed the intervention did increase members’ perceptions of the caring, task-involving climate while reducing perceptions of the ego-involving climate. Members’ perceptions of the staff and their own positive behaviors also increased. The staff’s behaviors predicted members’ perceptions of the three types of climates; moreover, members’ perceptions of the ego-involving climate negatively predicted their caring, task-involving behaviors. The study suggests that members’ perceptions of the climate can be positively influenced through minimal training with recreation center staff and that the behaviors in which the staff engage are an antecedent to members’ perceptions of the motivational climate.