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Gorden Sudeck, Stephanie Jeckel and Tanja Schubert

psychological effects of PA, as well as the stress- and recovery-related activity goals common among the adult population in the West (e.g., Markland & Ingledew, 1997 ). Individual differences in body- and activity-related knowledge, abilities, and motivation could facilitate or hinder the effective use of PA

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A. Craig Fisher

An individual differences approach to multidimensional scaling is outlined from the perspective of the modern interactional paradigm. The applicability of the individual differences model to anxiety research in sport settings is demonstrated. The model offers the advantage that both individual athlete data and group athlete data are revealed in the analysis simultaneously, without either analysis restricting the other. Representations of the structure in sport anxiety data matrices are unlocked by the individual differences model. Additional applications of the model to sport psychology research topics are offered.

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Panteleimon Ekkekakis, Eric E. Hall and Steven J. Petruzzello

Individuals differ in the intensity of exercise they prefer and the intensity they can tolerate. The purpose of this project was to develop a measure of individual differences in the preference for and tolerance of exercise intensity. The steps involved in (a) item generation and face validation, (b) exploratory factor analysis and item selection, (c) structural validation, (d) examination of the internal consistency and test-retest reliability, (e) concurrent validation, and (f) construct validation are described. The Preference for and Tolerance of the Intensity of Exercise Questionnaire (PRETIE-Q) is a 16-item, 2-factor measure that exhibits acceptable psychometric properties and can be used in research aimed at understanding individual differences in responses to exercise and thus the psychological processes involved in the public health problem of exercise dropout.

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Stanley P. Sady, Victor L. Katch, Kris Berg and John Villanacci

The extent of individual differences in relative endurance and physiological response was examined in adolescent boys (n=22) and compared to data of prepubescent boys (n = 21) and adult men (n = 21). Subjects performed two (test and retest) relative endurance cycle ergometer tests at an initial rate of 105% V̇O2 max, which they attempted to maintain for 8 minutes. Relative endurance performance was defined as the revolutions for each minute of the test (RPM). There were no differences among groups for the total revolutions turned or the total percent dropoff from the initial rate. All groups had similar patterns for consistency of RPM except for Minute 3. The prepubescent boys exhibited the greatest within-individual variation (Si) for HR, especially after Minute 4 (p<.05). On the average, a greater proportion of the total variability in HR was due to Si in comparison to true individual differences (St) for the prepubescents (47%) than either the adolescents (13%) or the adults (11%). The adolescents had the lowest proportion of total variability in V̇O2 due to Si (adolescents 9%, adults 16%, prepubescents 26%). The data support an earlier hypothesis of a threshold age effect on the stability of individual differences for physiological response during relative endurance exercise. A change may occur during adolescence.

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Susan Vincent Graser, Alan Groves, Keven A. Prusak and Todd R. Pennington


Researchers have noted both the utility and limitations of using pedometers to measure physical activity (PA). While these unobtrusive devices are widely accepted for their ability to measure accumulated PA, they have been criticized for their inability to measure exercise intensity. However, recent steps-per-minute (SPM) research provides reasonably accurate measures of intensity allowing users to assess time spent at recommended PA levels. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the SPM taken that are associated with moderate physical activity in 12- to 14-year-old youth.


Ninety-three participants (49 boys and 44 girls; ages 12 to 14) walked on a treadmill for 3 minutes at each of 4 different speeds while wearing a pedometer and a heart rate monitor.


On average boys and girls reached their moderate activity intensity threshold at 122 SPM and 102 SPM, respectively. However, individual differences must be taken into account when determining appropriate SPM intensities for youth.


The impact of individual differences underscores the need to address SPM for moderate intensity individually rather than with a single guideline for everyone at this age.

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Daniel Gould, Eileen Udry, Suzanne Tuffey and James Loehr

This is the third in a series of manuscripts reporting results from a research project designed to examine burnout in competitive junior tennis players. Individual differences in burnout are examined by discussing idiographic profiles from three athletes who were identified as having burned out in the earlier phases of the project. These cases were chosen as they represented different substrains of social psychologically driven and physically driven burnout. In particular, the three cases included: (a) a player characterized by high levels of perfectionism and overtraining; (b) a player who experienced pressure from others and a need for a social life; and (c) a player who was physically overtrained and had inappropriate goals. It was concluded that although important patterns result from content analyses across participants, the unique experience of each individual must be recognized.

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Patrick R. Thomas and Gerard J. Fogarty

Individual differences in cognitive preferences were examined in analyzing the effects of imagery and self-talk training on the psychological skills and performance levels of amateur golfers. Thirty-two men and women participated in a series of four counterbalanced training workshops and activities conducted over 2 months at two golf clubs. A repeated measures MANOVA revealed significant improvement on five psychological and psychomotor skills measured by the Golf Performance Survey: negative emotions and cognitions, mental preparation, automaticity, putting skill, and seeking improvement. Participants’ responses to the Sport Imagery Questionnaire and ratings of their imagery and self-talk techniques increased significantly after training. Players also lowered their handicaps and performed significantly better on a Golf Skills Test after training. Imagery and self-talk training benefits were not linked to participants’ cognitive preferences. The cognitive flexibility displayed by these golfers signals the need for more research on processing preferences and has implications for practitioners working with athletes.

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Sean Müller, Yasmin Gurisik, Mark Hecimovich, Allen G. Harbaugh and Ann-Maree Vallence

Training studies in a variety of domains focus on between-group comparisons. This study investigated individual differences in learning based upon visual anticipation training using field hockey goalkeeping as the exemplar motor skill. In a within-subject design, four state-league level field hockey goalkeepers were tested before and after visual anticipatory training in an in-situ test that required them to save goals from a drag flick. Response initiation time and response accuracy were measured. Participants were tested at baseline, completed a control phase of sport-specific practice, were retested, then given an intervention phase of temporal occlusion training plus sport-specific practice, and retested. Results indicated that two goalkeepers’ response initiation times were earlier after the intervention. Effect sizes indicated that the two goalkeepers improved response accuracy after the intervention. Another goalkeeper’s response initiation time was later after the intervention, but this did not impede response accuracy of goals saved. The mechanism of individual learning appeared to be modulation of response timing to save goals. Anticipation training can improve in-situ visual-perceptual motor skill performance in an individualized and nonlinear fashion. Further research is needed to better understand how each individual learns the visual-perceptual motor skills of high time-stress tasks in the sport domain.

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Elaine A. Rose and Gaynor Parfitt

Using a mixed-method approach, the aim of this study was to explore affective responses to exercise at intensities below-lactate threshold (LT), at-LT, and above-LT to test the proposals of the dual-mode model (Ekkekakis, 2003). These intensities were also contrasted with a self-selected intensity. Further, the factors that influenced the generation of those affective responses were explored. Nineteen women completed 20 min of treadmill exercise at each intensity. Affective valence and activation were measured, pre-, during and postexercise. Afterward, participants were asked why they had felt the way they had during each intensity. Results supported hypotheses showing affect to be least positive during the above-LT condition and most positive during the self-selected and below-LT conditions. Individual differences were greatest in the below-LT and at-LT conditions. Qualitative results showed that factors relating to perceptions of ability, interpretation of exercise intensity, exercise outcomes, focus of concentration, and perceptions of control influenced the affective response and contributed to the individual differences shown in the quantitative data.

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Carl T. Hayashi

To augment the minimal sport psychology research examining alternative cultures, the purpose of this study was to examine the nature of individual differences and social contextual factors related to achievement motivation among Anglo-American and Hawaiian male physical activity participants. Semistructured interviews were conducted with Hawaiians (n = 5) and Anglo-Americans who resided in the mainland United States (n = 5) and in Hawaii (n = 5). Results of content analyses revealed that all respondents defined positive and negative experiences in physical activity through task and ego goal orientations and an interdependent perspective of the self. Participants perceived the weight room environment through competitive, individualistic, and cooperative goal/reward structures. Cultural differences were also detected as Hawaiians defined positive activity experiences based on the demonstration of pride and perceived the weight room as a setting in which to express pride and an interdependent perspective. These findings suggest the need for more cross-cultural research in sport psychology to validate theoretical constructs.