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Amanda L. Snyder, Cay Anderson-Hanley, and Paul J. Arciero

Grounded in social facilitation theory, this study compared the impact on exercise intensity of a virtual versus a live competitor, when riding a virtual reality-enhanced stationary bike (“cybercycle”). It was hypothesized that competitiveness would moderate effects. Twenty-three female college students were exposed to three conditions on a cybercycle: solo training, virtual competitor, and live competitor. After training without a competitor (solo condition for familiarization with equipment), participants competed against a virtual avatar or live rider (random order of presentation). A repeated-measures analysis revealed a significant condition (virtual/live) by competitiveness (high/low) interaction for exercise intensity (watts). More competitive participants exhibited significantly greater exercise intensity when competing against a live versus virtual competitor. The implication is that live competitors can have an added social facilitation effect and influence exercise intensity, although competitiveness moderates this effect.

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Jeffrey J. Martin

. Triplett In 1898, Norman Triplett published a paper that has often been variously cited as the first sport psychology study, the first social psychology experiment (e.g.,  Morris & Summers, 1995 ), and the first social facilitation study. These citations can be found in both social psychology and sport

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Mary Jo MacCracken and Robert E. Stadulis

Dynamic balance performance of young children (ages 4, 6, and 8) was assessed in three social situations: alone (only with tester present); coaction (one other child performing at the same time); and spectators (five other observer children present). Within each age and gender, children (N = 120) were classified as of higher or lower comparative skill. Each balance task performed (walking forward and backward on a line, a narrow beam or a wide beam) was classified as representing easier or more difficult tasks for each child individually. Findings (p ≤ .05) indicated that the facilitation effects of social situations strengthened over age, with spectators producing increments in performance for children of higher skill (especially boys) and decrements in performance for the lower skilled children (both boys and girls). Coaction resulted in positive effects regardless of skill level.

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Tanya M.F. Scarapicchia, Catherine M. Sabiston, Ross E. Andersen, and Enrique Garcia Bengoechea

Young inactive healthy-weight females (n = 42) were randomly assigned to exercise at a self-selected pace on a treadmill beside a confederate who was providing either intrinsic or externally regulated verbal primes. Heart rate (HR), rating of perceived exertion (RPE), percentage of time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), and exercise continuance were recorded. Participants completed a self-report questionnaire assessing mood pre- and postexercise session and postexercise motivational outcomes. The intrinsic motivation group reported higher RPE values after 8 min of exercise, had higher recorded HR measures at all 5 recorded time points, exercised at a higher %HR max, spent more time in MVPA, and were more likely to continue to exercise than participants in the externally regulated motivation group. A time effect was noted for vigor. Based on these findings, exercise motivation can be “contagious” through verbal primes, suggesting that exercising with or around intrinsically motivated individuals may have beneficial outcomes.

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Seok Kang, Soonhwan Lee, and Seungbum Lee

The current study examined student athletes’ motives for viewing sports programs on television and their relationships with various viewing behaviors. Employing uses and gratifications theory and social differentiation theory, the study investigated whether student athletes’ motives for sports-program viewing would predict their preference of program selection and amount of viewing. An on-site survey of 225 Division I athletes from 3 Midwestern universities found that student athletes had entertainment, social-facilitation, and integration motives for sports-program viewing. Ritual use of sports programs (entertainment) was their primary motive, followed by instrumental use (social facilitation and integration). Results showed that student athletes’ main goal of watching sports programs on television was escape from their daily problems. Additional results showed that there was no gender difference in student athletes’ motives and sports-program preferences. Both male and female student athletes preferred male sports such as football and men’s college basketball.

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Lawrence R. Brawley and Kathleen A. Martin

Over the past three decades, an interface has developed between sport and social psychology, characterized primarily by commonly utilized concepts and theories. The list of social psychological benefits to sport psychology is lengthy and includes theory, hypotheses, research paradigms, general independent and dependent variables, methods, and measures. In this paper, the following areas of sport research are used to illustrate the interface between sport and social psychology: (a) social facilitation and cohesion as two social influence phenomena, (b) anxiety and goal orientations as personality moderators of social behavior, and (c) self-efficacy beliefs and attitudes as social cognitions relevant to motivated behavior. Each of these areas are discussed in terms of social psychology’s impact on its development as a line of research in sport and in terms of the recent contributions each has made in return to social psychology. The general nature of the interface of social and sport psychology is also discussed.

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N. Lucinda Hollifield

The purpose of this study was to determine if children's prior performance experience was a mediating factor in their performance of a dominant or novel task in an audience or no audience situation. Eighty 9-year-old boys were divided into experienced (n = 40) and nonexperienced (n = 40) groups based on prior youth sport experience and the absence of any performance experience before a formal audience. Half of each group learned a rotary pursuit task until they could perform the task with at least 60% accuracy. The other half did not practice the task. Groups were again divided for task performance in an audience or no audience situation so that the following treatments were observed for both experienced and nonexperienced groups: dominant task, no audience; dominant task, evaluative audience; novel task, no audience; novel task, evaluative audience. Task performance for each subject was five 20-sec trials on the photoelectric rotary pursuit task. The mean score of each set of five was used for data analysis. An audience of four passive adults was present in each audience condition and made evaluative notations following each performance. Results of a 2 × 2 × 2 (experience × task dominance × audience) ANOVA failed to support Zajonc's (1965) social facilitation theory and Cottrell's (1968) modification of this theory. The well-learned task was inhibited by the presence of an evaluative audience while performance of a novel task was enhanced. No significant experience effects were evident.

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Seok Kang, Soonhwan Lee, and Kang-Bon Goo

The current study examined how U.S. soccer fans’ multimedia exposure to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and psychological factors affected purchase intention of sponsored products in an integrated model. The model tested the influence of multimedia exposure on attitude toward the sponsored products, important others’ voices, and self-control toward the brands, which could affect purchase intention. In addition, the influence of past experience with the sponsored brands on purchase intention was tested in the model. A self-reported online survey was distributed to two university communities in the U.S. after the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The analysis of 650 responses reported that multimedia exposure did not directly influence purchase intention of sponsored products, but indirectly affected intention through psychological factors (attitude and subjective norm). U.S. audiences of the 2010 FIFA World Cup tended to be affected by value, excitement, emotional feeling, and others’ voice rather than self-controlled determination for purchase intention of sponsored products. The results tested in the integrated model indicate that multimedia exposure to the FIFA World Cup is likely to foster a social facilitation atmosphere which positively influences purchase intention.

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Christian Kaczmarek, Alexander Schmidt, Anna Sophie Emperle, and Sabine Schaefer

are not able to perform on a similar level themselves. Therefore, the question whether being observed by spectators helps or hinders an athlete's performance is very relevant. The presence of others can have a positive influence on performance (social facilitation) or it can hinder performance (social