Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 24 items for :

  • "reversal theory" x
  • Refine by Access: All Content x
Clear All
Restricted access

An Eclectic Approach to Psychological Interventions in Sport: Reversal Theory

John H. Kerr

In this article, the basic postulates of reversal theory are described, and the potential of the theory for professional practice in sport psychology is clarified. At focus is the reversal theory approach to athlete problem assessment (especially reversal process problems), intervention treatment and strategies, and the behavior of the successful therapist towards the athlete. Reversal theory’s comprehensive conceptual model, together with applications of the theory in psychotherapy, are used to support arguments for an eclectic but systematic approach to intervention work with sport performers.

Restricted access

A Reversal Theory Analysis of Psychological Responses during Sports Injury Rehabilitation

Joanne Thatcher, John Kerr, Kristy Amies, and Melissa Day


Few studies have examined psychological and emotional processes in injury rehabilitation from a longitudinal, theoretically framed perspective.


This study explored the applicability of Reversal Theory to examine these processes.


University of Wales, Aberystwyth, UK.


Three severely injured athletes; two were female (karate and judo) and one was male (hockey), aged 20 to 28.

Main Outcome Measures:

Fortnightly interviews after participant’s initial consultation with a sports therapist, until complete physical rehabilitation.


Supported the use of Reversal Theory in this context (eg, as a means of understanding the origins of athletes’ emotional responses to injury and changes in these responses throughout rehabilitation).


Suggestions for future research are made (eg, examining the consequences of emotional and metamotivational states for athlete behavior and recovery outcomes during rehabilitation).

Restricted access

Confidence Frames and the Mastery of New Challenges in the Motivation of an Expert Skydiver

John H. Kerr and Susan Houge Mackenzie

The main objective was to further unravel the experience of motivation in an expert male skydiver by investigating: (1) his general experience of motivation and perception of the dangers of skydiving; (2) his pursuit of new challenges and learning new skills as factors in maintaining motivation; (3) evidence of a mastery-based confidence frame in his motivational experience. This was a unique case study informed by reversal theory. The participant’s perception of skydiving was that it was not a risky or dangerous activity and a primary motive for his involvement in skydiving was personal goal achievement. Maintaining control and mastery during skydiving was a key motivational element during his long career and pursuing new challenges and learning new skills was found to be important for his continued participation. Data indicated that his confidence frame was based on a telic-mastery state combination, which challenged previous reversal theory research findings and constructs.

Restricted access

Elite Canadian Women Rugby Athletes’ Attitude to and Experience of Physical Aggression

John Kerr

.e., unsanctioned aggression). Perpetrators are liable for punishment under those laws and, occasionally, under civil or criminal law. Applying reversal theory’s ( Apter, 1997 , 2001 ) view of aggression and violence to understanding aggression in sport, sanctioned aggression is play aggression in which players willingly

Restricted access

Metamotivational State Reversals during Matchplay Golf: An Idiographic Approach

Joanne Hudson and Natalie C. Walker

Using a case study approach, this study examined reversals in metamotivational state during golf competition. Five male golfers competed in a round robin tournament. Following each match, golfers were individually interviewed using a modified Metamotivational State Coding Schedule (Potocky, Cook, & O’Connell, 1993). Content analysis techniques were used to identify metamotivational states, reversals in metamotivational state, and the factors affecting them. Individual differences in metamotivational state profiles were evident; for instance, the tournament winner demonstrated the most consistent profile across matches. Overall, however, players’ profiles demonstrated more similarities than differences. Most frequently cited metamotivational states were paratelic and telic conformity, and reversals were attributable to contingent event, satiation, and frustration factors. These results support reversal theory proposals (Smith & Apter, 1975) and its use as a framework for understanding psychological processes during competitive sport (Kerr, 1993).

Restricted access

Stress, Emotion, and Performance in Elite Slalom Canoeists

Jonathan R. Males and John H. Kerr

This paper examines the relationship between precompetitive affect and performance, using elements of reversal theory (Apter, 1982): a conceptual framework that incorporates a full range of pleasant and unpleasant moods. Nine elite male slalom canoeists completed questionnaires prior to each event of a season that included the world championships. Results were analyzed using a time-series model to make comparisons of each subject’s best and worst performance of the season. Predicted variations in precompetitive levels of pleasant and unpleasant mood did not occur, despite variations in subsequent performances. As predicted, good performances were preceded by low discrepancies between felt and preferred arousal levels, but there was no support for the hypothesis that a large discrepancy between perceived stress and coping efforts would precede a poor performance.

Restricted access

Team Process and Players’ Psychological Responses to Failure in a National Volleyball Team

Jonathan R. Males, John H. Kerr, Joanne Thatcher, and Emma Bellew

The present study investigated the psychological experiences of elite athletes in a team that failed using qualitative methods informed by reversal theory. Five athletes, from a national men’s volleyball team, playing in a European tournament completed a post-game review after each of 6 games. After the tournament, each player took part in in-depth semi-structured interviews, prompted by their post-game reviews. The results indicated that unrealistic expectations, poor team motivation, a negative coaching style, and faulty team process around game performance played an important role in the failure of this team. Also, inappropriate metamotivational states and state reversals were found to have had a negative impact on team performance. Several consultant recommendations for enhancing team motivation and functioning are identified.

Free access


Theory (2001); Experiencing Sport: Reversal Theory (1999); Motivation and Emotion in Sport (1997); Understanding Soccer Hooliganism (1994). He is a former high level rugby player and coach. Jörg Krieger is a sport historian and associate professor in the Department of Public Health at Aarhus

Restricted access

Case Study: Dose Response of Caffeine on 20-km Handcycling Time Trial Performance in a Paratriathlete

Terri Graham-Paulson, Claudio Perret, and Victoria Goosey-Tolfrey

. PubMed doi:10.1046/j.1365-201X.1997.201371000.x Svebak , S. , & Murgatroyd , S. ( 1985 ). Metamotivational dominance: A multimethod validation of reversal theory constructs . Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 48 , 107 – 116 . doi:10.1037/0022-3514.48.1.107 Wu , S.S. , Peiffer , J

Restricted access

Athlete–Coach Conflict and a Sport Psychologist Caught in the Middle: A Case Study of Consultancy During Athlete Preparation and Performance in Olympic Games Athletics

Jonathan R. Males, John H. Kerr, and Joanne Hudson

feedback, Rick advised the SPC that Steve was no longer acting as his coach. The SPC also received post-Olympics review feedback from Steve (10) on Rick’s Olympic performance, the consultation/intervention process, and the PDM materials used. Use of the PDM The PDM, which has its roots in Reversal Theory