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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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Judy L. Van Raalte, Britton W. Brewer, Darwyn E. Linder and Nina DeLange

A multidimensional scaling analysis was used to investigate the psychological structure underlying college students’ perceptions of 12 practitioners: sport psychologist, clinical psychologist, psychotherapist, coach, psychiatrist, counselor, performance consultant, nutritionist, sports medicine specialist, strength coach, hypnotist, and technical equipment advisor. For this analysis, 200 male and female undergraduates completed 66 scales rating the psychological similarity between all possible pairs of the 12 practitioners. The R2 of .84 and stress value of .17 indicated that a two-dimensional solution was the best fit for the similarity ratings. The first dimension was identified as separating practitioners specializing in the mental aspects of performance from those specializing in the physical aspects of performance. The second dimension separated sport practitioners from nonsport practitioners. Interestingly, subjects perceived sport psychologists as being concerned with mental, nonsport issues. The results are discussed in terms of the relationships among the various practitioners.

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John G.H. Dunn and A. Brian Nielsen

To fully understand why athletes experience anxiety in specific competitive situations, the psychological dimensions upon which threat perceptions are based must also be understood. No studies to date have been designed primarily to facilitate direct cross-sport comparisons of the constructs. The purposes of this study were (a) to identify the psychological dimensions upon which athletes in ice hockey and soccer base threat perceptions towards specific anxiety-inducing game situations, and (b) to determine whether athletes from these sports held similar threat perceptions towards parallel cross-sport situations. Seventy-one athletes rated the degree of similarity of threat perceptions across 15 sport-specific game situations. A multidimensional scaling analysis revealed similar three-dimensional solutions for each sport. However, certain distinct between-sport differences were also observed. Furthermore, the perceptions of threat towards certain situations were found to be multidimensional. The implications these findings have for competitive-anxiety research are discussed.

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Mark L. Latash, Fan Gao and Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky

The method of multidimensional scaling was applied to matrices of finger interaction (IFM) computed for individual participants for finger force production tasks. When IFMs for young controls, elderly, and persons with Down syndrome were pooled, only two dimensions described interpersonal differences; these were related to total force and to the total amount of enslaving. When IFMs for each group were analyzed separately, subpopulation-specific dimensions were found. Potentially, this analysis can be applied to discover meaningful dimensions that reflect differences in indices of finger interaction across and within subpopulations which differ in their apparent ability to use the hand. It may also be useful for tracking changes in finger interaction that occur in the process of specialized training or motor rehabilitation.

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Luke E. Patrick and David A. Dzewaltowski

Research on older adult physical activity promotion has lacked methods to measure older adults’ physical activity perceptions and preferences. This article describes perceptual and preference-mapping marketing techniques for investigating perceived features in physical activities. Using these techniques, investigators can represent the dimensions in which older adults perceive physical activity modes, label them, and consider individual differences. In this study, older adults compared 13 physical activities and ranked them by preference. A 4-dimensional space satisfactorily represented perceptions, and a 3-dimensional space, preferences. Physical activity perceptions varied along orthogonal dimensions of health affordance. intensity, social nature, and competitive nature. Categories of preference were revealed as dimensions relating to noncompetitive/self-efficacy attributes, intensity, and gender practices. The authors conclude that older adults’ physical activity preferences and perceptions can be represented by multiattribute dimensional spaces. Future research should employ these scaling techniques to describe relationships between older adults and multiattribute physical activities and determine how they influence perceptions, preferences, and physical activity patterns.

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Darwyn E. Linder, Britton W. Brewer, Judy L. Van Raalte and Nina De Lange

Three studies are reported that replicate and extend previous work showing that athletes who consult a sport psychologist are derogated relative to athletes who work with their coaches on the same problem. In the first study, a multidimensional-scaling analysis was conducted to explore the psychological structure underlying perceptions of 12 sport practitioner professionals. Two dimensions, mental/physical and sport/nonsport, provided the best fit for both male and female subjects. The second and third studies, using different subject populations, were conducted to replicate previous findings and to explore the mediating processess involved. In both experiments, subjects were asked to indicate how strongly they would recommend drafting a college baseball, basketball, or football player who had worked with a coach, a sport psychologist, or a psychotherapist to improve performance. Male undergraduates and Lions Club members gave athletes who consulted sport psychologists or psychotherapists significantly lower draft ratings than athletes who consulted their coaches.

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John G.H. Dunn

Many competitive sport anxiety researchers have examined the degree to which athletes worry before or during competition. Little attention has been paid, however, to establishing a conceptual framework for structuring the content of competitive worry. The main purpose of this study was to examine the latent dimensionality of competitive worry in intercollegiate ice hockey (N= 178) using a conceptual framework based on two multidimensional anxiety theories developed by Endler (1983) and Hackfort (1986). Multidimensional scaling and factor-analytic results revealed that competitive worry in ice hockey can be structured around a combination of four potential content domains relating to athletes’ fear of failure, negative social evaluation, injury or physical danger, and the unknown. These constructs were congruent with the situational anxiety dimensions proposed by Endler and Hackfort. Discussion focuses on the characteristic features of the four worry domains and the extent to which athletes were predisposed to experiencing each type of worry.

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Jack L. Nasar and Christopher H. Holloman


The research sought to find the salient perceived characteristics of playgrounds for African-American children and their parents, and to test effects of changes in those characteristics on playground choice.


Thirty-one African-American children and their parents sorted 15 photographs of playgrounds for similarity. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling on the similarity scores and correlations between the resulting dimensions and judged characteristics of each playground revealed salient perceived characteristics. Study 2 had 40 African-American children and their parents view pairs of photographs, manipulated on the salient characteristics, and pick the one to play on (child question) or for the child to play on (parent question). A third study inventoried and observed children’s activities in 14 playgrounds.


Study 1 found seats, fence, playground type, and softness of surface as salient perceived characteristics of the playground. Study 2 found that participants were more likely to pick playgrounds with equipment and playgrounds with a softer surface. Study 3 found higher levels of physical activity for playground settings with equipment.


The findings confirm correlational findings on the desirability of equipment and safety. Communities need to test the effects of changes in playgrounds.

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* Bill Curtis * 3 1979 1 1 1 1 59 59 75 75 10.1123/jsp.1.1.59 Comments Multidimensional Scaling of Sport Personality Data: An Individual Differences Approach A. Craig Fisher * 3 1979 1 1 1 1 76 76 86 86 10.1123/jsp.1.1.76 Book Review Book Review 3 1979 1 1 1 1 87 87 91 91 10.1123/jsp.1.1.87

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of Sport-Oriented Professionals: A Multidimensional Scaling Analysis Judy L. Van Raalte * Britton W. Brewer * Darwyn E. Linder * Nina DeLange * 9 1990 4 4 3 3 228 228 234 234 10.1123/tsp.4.3.228 Perceptions of Black Intercollegiate Football Players: Implications for the Sport Psychology