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Aïna Chalabaev, Jeanick Brisswalter, Rémi Radel, Stephen A. Coombes, Christopher Easthope, and Corentin Clément-Guillotin

Previous evidence shows that stereotype threat impairs complex motor skills through increased conscious monitoring of task performance. Given that one-step motor skills may not be susceptible to these processes, we examined whether performance on a simple strength task may be reduced under stereotype threat. Forty females and males performed maximum voluntary contractions under stereotypical or nullified-stereotype conditions. Results showed that the velocity of force production within the first milliseconds of the contraction decreased in females when the negative stereotype was induced, whereas maximal force did not change. In males, the stereotype induction only increased maximal force. These findings suggest that stereotype threat may impair motor skills in the absence of explicit monitoring processes, by influencing the planning stage of force production.

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Robin C. Jackson, Kelly J. Ashford, and Glen Norsworthy

Attentional processes governing skilled motor behavior were examined in two studies. In Experiment 1, field hockey players performed a dribbling task under single-task, dual-task, and skill-focused conditions under both low and high pressure situations. In Experiment 2, skilled soccer players performed a dribbling task under single-task, skill-focused, and process-goal conditions, again under low and high pressure situations. Results replicated recent findings regarding the detrimental effect of skill-focused attention and the facilitative effect of dual-task conditions on skilled performance. In addition, focusing on movement related process goals was found to adversely affect performance. Support for the predictive validity of the Reinvestment Scale was also found, with high reinvesters displaying greater susceptibility to skill failure under pressure. Results were consistent with explicit monitoring theories of choking and are further discussed in light of the conceptual distinction between explicit monitoring and reinvestment of conscious control.

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Mark Wilson, Mark Chattington, Dilwyn E. Marple-Horvat, and Nick C. Smith

This study examined attentional processes underlying skilled motor performance in threatening situations. Twenty-four trained participants performed a simulated rally driving task under conditions designed either to direct the focus of attention toward the explicit monitoring of driving or a distracting secondary task. Performance (lap time) was compared with a “driving only” control condition. Each condition was completed under nonevaluative and evaluative instructional sets designed to manipulate anxiety. Mental effort was indexed by self-report and dual-task performance measures. The results showed little change in performance in the high-threat explicit monitoring task condition, compared with either the low-threat or the high-threat distraction conditions. Mental effort increased, however, in all high- as opposed to low-threat conditions. Performance effectiveness was therefore maintained under threat although this was at the expense of reduced processing efficiency. The results provide stronger support for the predictions of processing efficiency theory than self-focus theories of choking.

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Kelly J. Ashford and Robin C. Jackson

The present study examined the effectiveness of a priming paradigm in alleviating skill failure under stress. The priming intervention took the form of a scrambled sentence task. Experiment 1: Thirty-four skilled field-hockey players performed a dribbling task in low- and high-pressure situations under single task, skill-focused, and priming conditions. Results revealed a significant increase in performance time from low to high pressure. In addition, performance in the priming condition was significantly better than in the control and skill-focused conditions. Experiment 2: Thirty skilled field-hockey players completed the same dribbling task as in Experiment 1; however, in addition to the control and skill-focused conditions, participants were allocated to either a positive, neutral, or negative priming condition. Results revealed significant improvements in performance time from the skill focus to the control to the priming condition for the positive and neutral groups. For the negative group, times were significantly slower in the priming condition. Results are discussed in terms of utilizing priming in a sporting context.

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Bradley D. Hatfield

with the two hemispheres as reported by Ehrlichmann and Wiener ( 1980 ), allowed for an inference of the cognitive processes during expert marksmanship. Hatfield et al. ( 1984 ) deduced that experts progressively reduced engagement in verbal-analytic engagement or explicit monitoring of the elements of

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Maxime Deshayes, Corentin Clément-Guillotin, and Raphaël Zory

decreases were observed in individuals targeted by the negative stereotype (for a review, see Chalabaev, Sarrazin, et al., 2013 ; Gentile et al., 2018 ). As previously mentioned, this result was explained by the explicit monitoring hypothesis (e.g.,  Beilock & Carr, 2001 ). However, the present research

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Daniel M. Smith and Sarah E. Martiny

environment ( Forbes, Schmader, & Allen, 2008 ; Schmader & Beilock, 2012 ; Steele, Spencer, & Aronson, 2002 ). Thus, the uncertainty can lead to explicit monitoring, that is, either monitoring the environment for stereotype-related cues or monitoring one’s own performance for mistakes. In the sport domain

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Florian Müller, Jonathan F. Best, and Rouwen Cañal-Bruland

of the goalkeeper, in turn resulting in shots being placed closer to the penalty-taker. Theoretical explanations such as the explicit monitoring hypothesis ( Beilock & Gray, 2007 ) or the reinvestment theory ( Masters & Maxwell, 2008 ) further suggest that pressure may also lead to increased

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Seyyed Mohammadreza Mousavi, Laura Gray, Sahar Beik, and Maxime Deshayes

time to perform a soccer dribbling task than women in the control condition. The performance impairment observed was mostly attributed to the explicit monitoring hypothesis ( Beilock & Carr, 2001 ). According to this hypothesis, expertise in tasks that require coordination, such as soccer dribbling

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Mike Stoker, Ian Maynard, Joanne Butt, Kate Hays, and Paul Hughes

superior performance, was associated with a decreased amount of feedback to the brain. In contrast, they also theorized that heart rate would accelerate if athletes explicitly monitored their skills, such as the movements of their arms during the putting stroke. With this research in mind, there is an