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Goal-Directed Self-Talk Used During Technical Skill Acquisition: The Case of Novice Ultimate Frisbee Players

Alexander T. Latinjak, Marc Masó, and Nikos Comoutos

reinforcement ( n  = 32; 19%; e.g., “you’ve done wrong,” “that was crap,” “you messed up”). Equally frequent, self-talk was categorized as instructional, controlling cognition and behavior ( n  = 64; 39%). In contrast to the situation before throwing, this category included self-talk aimed most frequently at

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Effect of Goal Difficulty and Positive Reinforcement on Endurance Performance

Robert Weinberg, Howard Garland, Lawrence Bruya, and Allen Jackson

The present investigation tested the interactive effects of goal difficulty and positive reinforcement in the form of verbal persuasion on endurance performance. Two experiments were conducted in laboratory and field settings. In Experiment 1, subjects (n=87) were assigned to a realistic or an unrealistic goal condition and either received or did not receive positive reinforcement while performing the 3-minute sit-up test over the course of 5 weeks. In addition, two control conditions were utilized including a do-your-best group and a no-treatment control group. Results indicated no significant main or interaction effects for the goal setting or positive reinforcement conditions. In Experiment 2, subjects (n=120) squeezed a hand dynamometer for as long as they could. Experimental conditions were similar to those in Experiment 1 except that the verbal persuasion was individualized since it was group oriented in the first experiment. Results again indicated no significant between-subjects main effects or interactions. Questionnaires revealed that subjects accepted their assigned goals, tried extremely hard, were committed to achieving their goals, and felt their goals were important. Results are discussed in terms of the goal attainability notion (Garland, 1983) and self-efficacy theory (Bandura, 1977). Future directions for research are offered.

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Examining the Impact of Coaches’ Feedback Patterns on the Psychosocial Well-Being of Youth Sport Athletes

Thelma S. Horn

advantageous to their motor-skill learning and sport performance ( Coker, 2015 ; Smith, 2015 ). Table 1 Categories in the Coaching Behavior Assessment System Coach feedback type Categories Example coach statement or behavior Response to player success Simple reinforcement “Nice catch, Josh!” Nonreinforcement

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Coaching Shared Mental Models in Soccer: A Longitudinal Case Study

Lael Gershgoren, Edson Medeiros Filho, Gershon Tenenbaum, and Robert J. Schinke

This study was aimed at capturing the components comprising shared mental models (SMM) and the training methods used to address SMM in one athletic program context. To meet this aim, two soccer coaches from the same collegiate program were interviewed and observed extensively during practices and games throughout the 2009–2010 season. In addition, documents (e.g., players’ positioning on free kicks sheet) from the soccer program were reviewed. The data were analyzed inductively through a thematic analysis to develop models that operationalize SMM through its components, and training. Game intelligence and game philosophy were the two main operational themes defining SMM. Moreover, four themes emerged for SMM training: (a) the setting, (b) compensatory communication, (c) reinforcement, and (d) instruction. SMM was embedded within a more comprehensive conceptual framework of team chemistry, including emotional, social, and cognitive dimensions. Implications of these conceptual frameworks are considered for sport psychologists and coaches.

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The Effects of Peer-Administered Token Reinforcement on Jump Rope Behaviors of Elementary Physical Education Students

Andrew E. Alstot

Token economies have a long research and applied history within clinical settings and classroom education (Kazdin, 1982). However, despite reported successes in improving physical activity behaviors (Alstot, 2012), research examining token reinforcement implemented specifically in physical education is virtually nonexistent. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to examine the effects of a peer-administered token economy on the jump rope behaviors of elementary physical education students. An alternating treatments design was used to assess the effects of the intervention. Participants were alternated between five baseline and five token economy sessions while response differentiation between the two phases was assessed. Results indicated that nine out of ten participants showed an increase in the number of successful jump rope practice trials during token reinforcement sessions as compared with baseline sessions. Based on the results of the study, it was concluded that peer-administered token economies can be useful tools for physical educators.

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The Effects of Reinforcement-Based Fitness Training on Adults Who Are Institutionalized and Dually Diagnosed

Clarice S. Combs and Paul Jansma

This study examined the effects of physical fitness training and reinforcement on adults who were institutionalized and dually diagnosed as mentally retarded/emotionally disturbed. Subjects (N=5) were provided daily 1-hour fitness training sessions for 6 weeks. Fitness data were collected before initial fitness training, after 3 weeks of training, after 1 week of no fitness training, after 3 more weeks of training, and 2 weeks after training was terminated. Fitness data collected included total number of bent-knee sit-ups completed in 1 minute, total distance in feet completed in 12 minutes of running, and flexibility in centimeters measured on a sit-and-reach box. An equivalent time-series research design (A-B-A-B) with follow-up was used to test the relationship of fitness training and reinforcement to subsequent fitness component behaviors. The results for both individual and group data show improvement in all three fitness parameters after 3 weeks of training and continued improvement for the final 3 weeks of training. The results of a two-way ANOVA yielded significant differences of training and reinforcement for all three fitness parameters across research phases and follow-up.

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Effects of Reinforcement Based Exercise on Fitness and Work Productivity in Adults with Mental Retardation

Ronald Croce and Michael Horvat

The present study evaluated the effects of a reinforcement based aerobic and resistance exercise program on three obese men with mental retardation and below average fitness levels. A multiple-baseline-across-subjects design was employed to evaluate treatment effectiveness and retention of treatment effects on five dependent measures: body weight, percent body fat (body composition), oxygen consumption (predicted max V̇O2 in ml/kg/min), composite isometric strength (in kg of force), and work productivity (pieces of work completed). Subjects improved during treatment from their baseline scores on cardiovascular fitness, strength, and work productivity measurements (p<.05); however, retention of gains made during treatment were inconsistent and the data that indicated subjects’ scores were regressing back toward baseline measurements. There were no significant differences for body weight and percent body fat measurements for treatment and retention phases (p>.05). Results indicated that adults with mental retardation respond to a progressive exercise program in much the same manner as their nonretarded peers and that such an exercise program can facilitate job performance.

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Learning Life’s Lessons in Tee Ball: The Reinforcement of Gender and Status in Kindergarten Sport

Melissa A. Landers and Gary Alan Fine

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Modeling the Development of Pronunciation in Infant Speech Acquisition

Ian S. Howard and Piers Messum

Pronunciation is an important part of speech acquisition, but little attention has been given to the mechanism or mechanisms by which it develops. Speech sound qualities, for example, have just been assumed to develop by simple imitation. In most accounts this is then assumed to be by acoustic matching, with the infant comparing his output to that of his caregiver. There are theoretical and empirical problems with both of these assumptions, and we present a computational model—Elija—that does not learn to pronounce speech sounds this way. Elija starts by exploring the sound making capabilities of his vocal apparatus. Then he uses the natural responses he gets from a caregiver to learn equivalence relations between his vocal actions and his caregiver’s speech. We show that Elija progresses from a babbling stage to learning the names of objects. This demonstrates the viability of a non-imitative mechanism in learning to pronounce.

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Impact of Behavior Modification on Female Campers’ Physical Activity in Summer Camp

Zachary Wahl-Alexander and Huntleigh Wozniak

prompting combined with reinforcement, on female campers’ step counts at a residential summer camp. Specifically, three research questions guided this stud. These questions were (a) the extent to which campers were physically active throughout the camp day without interventions, (b) whether staff prompting