Intraindividual Variability of Self-Evaluations in the Physical Domain: Prevalence, Consequences, and Antecedents

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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This study examined: (a) the prevalence of intraindividual variability (i.e., the degree to which individuals exhibit short-term fluctuations in their self-evaluations) of global self-worth, physical self-worth, and perceived physical competence; (b) the independent and combined influence of level and intraindividual variability of self-evaluations on students’ motivation; and (c) the relationship between social sources of evaluative information and intraindividual variability. Students (N = 167) ranging from 12 to 15 years of age (M = 13.48 yrs, SD = .56) completed questionnaires each day that they were in physical education class for 3 weeks (i.e., 6 occasions). Results revealed that most of the students exhibited fluctuations in their self-evaluations over the 3 weeks. Level of self-evaluations was the critical predictor of motivation; however, an interaction with intraindividual variability was also significant. Nonsignificant relationships were found between intraindividual variability and the importance that students placed on social sources of evaluative information. Overall, results indicated that intraindividual variability should be considered along with level as an important index of one’s self-perception profile.

Anthony J. Amorose is with the Dept. of HPER, Illinois State University, 2271 Horton Fieldhouse, Campus Box 5120, Normal, IL 61790-5120.

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