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Patricia A. Sullivan

The development of interpersonal communication skills is an important aspect of psychological skill development in interactive sport athletes. This article presents a communication skills training program for interactive sport teams. Collegiate coaches of interactive sports implemented a series of seven interpersonal communication exercises with their teams to gain a preliminary perspective on the effectiveness of communication skills training. Overall, athletes’ responses in evaluating the program indicated that the communication exercises raised awareness levels of communication skills and competencies and also provided valuable opportunities to practice improving communication skills. Suggestions are provided for the continuation of communication skills training with athletes.

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Matthew Blaszka, Lauren M. Burch, Evan L. Frederick, Galen Clavio and Patrick Walsh

Sport organizations, teams, and athletes are growing constituencies that use socialmedia platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to engage in dialogue with their respective audiences. The purpose of this study was to examine Twitter hashtag use during a major sporting event. Specifically, this study analyzed #WorldSeries during the 2011 World Series. The study employed a content-analysis methodology to determine who was using the hashtag and how it was being used. Using systematic sampling, 1,450 tweets were analyzed. The results demonstrated that #WorldSeries was being used predominantly by laypersons to express fanship, as well as interactivity. When individuals were being interactive with this hashtag, they were doing so mainly with MLB/league officials and other laypersons. Most of these interactive tweets were also expressions of fanship. The implications of these findings are discussed further.

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B. Colin Cork and Terry Eddy

The purpose of this study was to examine endorsement-related tweets from athletes and determine which characteristics of those tweets could increase the degree of electronic word-of-mouth marketing (eWOM) generated by the message. Previous literature has suggested that the retweet function in Twitter is a form of eWOM. Through the lens of eWOM, the concepts of vividness, interactivity, and congruence are used to understand what tweet characteristics generate the most retweets. A sample of professional-athlete endorsement and sponsored tweets (n = 669) was used and coded based on frameworks adapted from previous studies. Results indicated that the interaction between levels of high vividness and high interactivity generated the highest frequency of retweets. Reported findings could inform athletes and/or brand managers in ways to increase the eWOM of sponsored messages on Twitter.

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Evan L. Frederick, Choong Hoon Lim, Galen Clavio and Patrick Walsh

An Internet-based survey was posted on the Twitter feeds and Facebook pages of 1 predominantly social and 1 predominantly parasocial athlete to ascertain the similarities and differences between their follower sets in terms of parasocial interaction development and follower motivations. Analysis of the data revealed a sense of heightened interpersonal closeness based on the interaction style of the athlete. While followers of the social athlete were driven by interpersonal constructs, followers of the parasocial athlete relied more on media conventions in their interaction patterns. To understand follower motivations, exploratory factor analyses were conducted for both follower sets. For followers of the social athlete, most of the interactivity, information-gathering, personality, and entertainment items loaded together. Unlike followers of the social athlete, fanship and community items loaded alongside information-gathering items for followers of the parasocial athlete. The implications of these and other findings are discussed further.

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Evan L. Frederick, Galen E. Clavio, Lauren M. Burch and Matthew H. Zimmerman

For this case study, an Internet-based survey was posted on a popular mixed-martial- arts (MMA) blog to ascertain its users’ demographics and usage trends. Data analysis revealed that users were predominantly White men between the ages of 23 and 39, with some college education and an annual income of $40,000–59,999. An exploratory factor analysis revealed 6 dimensions of gratification: evaluation, community, information gathering, knowledge demonstration, argumentation, and diversion. The most salient motivation statements were related to the speed of information access, the depth of information and coverage, and the availability of information not typically found through traditional media outlets. Most users spent 1–5 hr/wk watching MMA programming and 1–10 hr/wk on MMA blogs, making 1–20 comments per week. Findings indicated that users used this particular blog for both interactive and information-gathering purposes.

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Jennifer L. Etnier and Benjamin A. Sibley

The purpose of this study was to examine the interactive effects of hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) and physical activity (PA) on the cognitive performance of older women. Postmenopausal women (n = 101) were recruited to complete a PA questionnaire, provide demographic information, and perform the digit-symbol substitution task (DSST) and the trail-making tests (TMT). Regression analyses were conducted for participants with complete data for each cognitive test (DSST n = 62; TMT n = 69). For both tasks, results indicated that PA and education were positively related and age was negatively related to cognitive performance. The interaction of HRT with PA did not add to the predicted variance of either measure of cognitive performance. This was true even after limiting the HRT users to women using unopposed estrogen. It is concluded that the beneficial relationship between PA and these two measures of cognitive performance in postmenopausal women exists irrespective of HRT use.

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Cindy H.P. Sit, Jessica W.K. Lam and Thomas L. McKenzie

Background:

Interactive electronic games have recently been popularized and are believed to help promote children’s physical activity (PA). The purpose of the study was to examine preferences and PA levels during interactive and online electronic games among overweight and nonoverweight boys and girls.

Methods:

Using a modification of the SOFIT, we systematically observed 70 Hong Kong Chinese children (35 boys, 35 girls; 50 nonoverweight, 20 overweight), age 9 to 12 years, during 2 60-minute recreation sessions and recorded their game mode choices and PA levels. During Session One children could play either an interactive or an online electronic bowling game and during Session Two they could play an interactive or an online electronic running game.

Results:

Children chose to play the games during 94% of session time and split this time between interactive (52%) and online (48%) versions. They engaged in significantly more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during interactive games than their online electronic versions (70% vs. 2% of game time). Boys and nonoverweight children expended relatively more energy during the interactive games than girls and overweight children, respectively.

Conclusions:

New-generation interactive games can facilitate physical activity in children, and given the opportunity children may select them over sedentary versions.

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Jan Boehmer and Stephen Lacy

This study analyzes how interactivity on Facebook relates to users’ browsing behaviors such as clicking a link, visiting a Web site, clicking articles on a Web site, and spending time on a sports news Web site. Regression analyses of 502 Facebook posts and the corresponding news articles show that the number of individuals who clicked on a link is not related to higher levels of interactivity, but an increase in interactivity did affect the number of overall visits generated. In addition, higher levels of interactivity had a slight negative correlation with the number of pages visited and the time spent on an organization’s Web site. Implications for the training and work routines of sport communication professionals in organizations, journalism, and public relations are discussed.

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Wade D. Gilbert, Pierre Trudel and Leon P. Haughian

This study provided a descriptive analysis of the interactive decision making factors considered by coaches of youth ice hockey (aged 10–15 years) during games. Using a multiple–case study design, data were collected using a combination of semistructured interviews and an adapted version of stimulated recall interviews. An inductive analysis of the interview transcripts revealed 5 types of interactive decisions, 5 types of goals, and 21 types of factors. The factors were regrouped into two categories (Field Information and Coach Knowledge) and four subcategories (Objective Information, Subjective Information, Player Characteristics, and Knowledge of the Game). Although individual coach differences were found, important cross-coach similarities also emerged. On average, between 2.6 and 3.2 factors were cited for each interactive decision. The adoption of dichotic (yes-no) decision making models based exclusively on player performance, and the ecological validity of conducting lab-based studies to examine the interactive decision making of coaches, is challenged.

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Mary Jo Sariscsany and Frank Pettigrew

Few teaching areas receive greater attention by administrators than classroom management and discipline. Given the importance of managerial skills, how do teachers develop the pedagogical content knowledge and skill to assist in the appropriate selection and application of management techniques? This study was designed to compare the Interactive Video Classroom Management Training Program (IVCMTP), a teacher-directed videotape, and a traditional lecture instructional mode for instructional effectiveness in developing teaching candidates’ declarative knowledge of classroom management. ANCOVA indicated significant group effects (p < .05). Post hoc procedures revealed that the interactive video instruction program group scored significantly higher on a cognitive managerial assessment instrument than the teacher-directed video instruction group, the teacher-directed instruction group, or the control group. An interactive video training program appears to be an effective means for developing classroom management knowledge when compared to more traditional teaching methods.