One purpose of the present investigation was to examine whether tennis athletes have maladaptive achievement patterns associated with learned helplessness, and whether this condition is related to gender and/or skill level. A second purpose was to determine if there is a relationship between maladaptive achievement patterns and the attributional styles used in failure performances. A sport-specific questionnaire based upon the research of Dweck and others was designed to assess the cognitive, motivational, and emotional maladaptive achievement patterns in male and female highly skilled and lesser skilled athletes enrolled in a tennis academy (N=50). Another sport-specific questionnaire based on Abramson’s attributional model was used to measure each athlete’s attributional style (i.e., locus of control, stability, globality, and importance). Results revealed that 11 subjects demonstrated maladaptive achievement patterns associated with learned helplessness. No gender or skill level differences were present. Subjects classified as helpless had a different attribution dimension style for explaining failure performances than did subjects classified as nonhelpless. Specifically, helpless subjects gave ratings that were internal, persistent, and recurrent. The results were discussed in terms of their practical implications.
Harry Prapavessis and Albert V. Carron
Thomas J. Martinek and Joseph B. Griffith III
The purpose of this study was to describe the effect of age on specific psychological and behavioral measures of learned-helpless and mastery-oriented students. The study consisted of two age groups, younger and older, of learned-helplessness and mastery-oriented students. Within each age group, learned-helpless and mastery-oriented students were compared in terms of attributional profiles and levels of task persistence during instruction. Students were asked to view videotapes of their performances, to describe how they thought they did on each task, and to give reasons for their performance. Responses were classified into four attributional categories: (a) ability, (b) effort, (c) task difficulty, and (d) environment or luck. Persistence was also determined by looking at the number of times students would attempt a task. Attributional profiles and task persistence associated with the leamed-helpless condition was more prevalent with the older group than with the younger group.
Mary D. Walling and Thomas J. Martinek
Josh Trout and Kim C. Graber
The purpose of this investigation was to examine overweight students’ perceptions of and experiences in physical education. Specifically, the applicability of learned helplessness as a framework to understand their experiences was explored. Participants were seven female and five male high school students whose body mass index was at or higher than the gender- and age-specific 85th percentile based on Centers for Disease Control growth charts. Data collection included formal interviews with students and their parents. The primary findings indicate that students have mixed opinions concerning the benefits to be derived from physical education. Despite recognizing the relationship between lack of physical activity and obesity, many participants avoided participation because they had been traumatized to the extent of exhibiting symptoms consistent with learned helplessness. Participants demonstrated greater concern about visibility than they did about their performance, which suggests they might engage in physical activity if shielded from the view of peers.
Nikos Ntoumanis, Anne-Marte Pensgaard, Chris Martin and Katie Pipe
The purpose of this study was to provide an in-depth account of amotivation in compulsory school physical education by examining its major causes, the way it is displayed, and how it can be tackled. From an initial participant pool of 390 British schoolchildren ages 14 to 15 years, 21 of them (15 girls and 6 boys) were selected to participate in semi-structured interviews. They were categorized as being amotivated based on their responses to a questionnaire measuring motivation in physical education. Three main perceived causes of amotivation were identified in the interviews: learned helplessness beliefs, low need satisfaction, and contextual factors. Amotivation was mainly displayed by nonattendance, low involvement in the class, and low intention to be physically active after leaving school. Students’ suggestions for reducing amotivation focused on the enhancement of positive affect, need satisfaction, and structural/organizational changes. The findings are discussed in conjunction with contemporary motivation theories and models of amotivation.
Denise M. Hill, Matthew Cheesbrough, Paul Gorczynski and Nic Matthews
-confidence and perceived control and seemingly encouraged learned helplessness: When you keep doing it [choking] you end up thinking that you just can’t handle the pressure. You also get told that by people around you, too. So it becomes the truth. I fail under pressure, and I can’t do a thing about it. Before
Tanya McGuane, Stephen Shannon, Lee-Ann Sharp, Martin Dempster and Gavin Breslin
-loss methods “Horse racing is my life” Identity Addiction Impact on priorities and relationships “You do what you have to do” Learned helplessness Reframed acceptance Replacement of ability “This is our world” Methods of coping Social support of jockeys “Day In, Day Out” The theme “Day In Day Out” describes a
Robert Weinberg, Daniel Gould and Allen Jackson
The present investigation was designed to test the predictions of Bandura's (1977) theory of self-efficacy in a competitive, motor-performance situation. Subjects (30 males and 30 females) were randomly assigned to either a high or low self-efficacy condition in a 2 × 2 × 2 (sex × self-efficacy × trials) factorial design. Self-efficacy was manipulated by having subjects compete against a confederate on a muscular leg-endurance task where the confederate was said to be either a varsity ;rack athlete who exhibited higher performance on a related task (low self-efficacy) or an individual who had a knee injury and exhibited poorer performance on a related task (high self-efficacy). Because self-efficacy theory predicts that expectation-performance differences are maximized in the face of obstacles and aversive consequences, the experiment was rigged so that subjects lost in competition to the confederate on both trials. The results supported self-efficacy predictions with the high self-efficacy subjects extending their legs significantly longer than low self-efficacy subjects. Moreover, after failing on the first trial, high self-efficacy subjects extended their legs for a longer time than low self-efficacy subjects on the second trial. A postexperimental questionnaire revealed significant differences in cognitive states (e.g., expectations, attributions, self-talk) between high and low self-efficacy subjects, as well as between males and females. Results are discussed in terms of learned helplessness and differing patterns of sex-role socialization.
Timothy Martinson, Stephen A. Butterfield, Craig A. Mason, Shihfen Tu, Robert A. Lehnhard and Christopher J. Nightingale
L . An examination of learned helplessness among attention-deficit hyperactivity disordered boys . In: B Hoza , WE Pelham , chairs. Cognitive biases as mediators of childhood disorders: What do we know? Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Advancement of
Daniel M. Smith and Sarah E. Martiny
uncontrollable attributions are known to be demotivating and related to learned helplessness ( Abramson, Seligman, & Teasdale, 1978 ). For example, the “Black athletes lack sport intelligence” and “women lack natural athletic ability” stereotypes imply to athletes of these identity groups that these are simply