Type of Document Dissertation Author Hutchinson, Jasmin Caroline Robertson Author's Email Address firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-07092004-135618 Title Psychological Factors in Perceived and Sustained Effort Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Gershon Tenenbaum Committee Chair Akhito Kamata Committee Member David Pargman Committee Member Lynn Panton Committee Member Keywords
- Attention Focus
- Perceived Exertion
Date of Defense 2004-06-09 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe purpose of this study was threefold; (a) to determine how different components of effort are perceived during physical activity; (b) to examine whether attention focus varies as a function of intensity during physical activity; and (c) to test the effect of dispositional and task-specific self-efficacy on the ability to tolerate sustained physical activity. Adult male and female participants were exposed to the sensation of physical effort via two exhaustive tasks: a handgrip squeezing task (n=35) and a stationary cycling task (n=13).
Three clusters of perceived effort sensations (physical, motivational, and affective sensations) were measured at regular intervals for the duration of the two tasks. Results indicated that the three sensations were perceived distinctly, and operated differently in the duration of the two physical tasks. Thus it was concluded that feelings of effort are a consequence of several distinct physiological and psychological determinants. The consequences of this for the efficacy of a single-item measure of perceived effort are discussed.
Information regarding participantís thoughts during the two tasks was gathered through self-report, and classified to reveal patterns of associative and dissociative attention focus. It was expected that attention focus would be primarily associative in the latter stages of the two tasks, due to overwhelming physiological sensations resulting from the extreme physical load. Results indicated a convergence of increased proportion of associative thoughts with an increase in physical load. Thus, the hypothesis was confirmed in both tasks. Based upon these findings practical suggestions are made for recreational exercisers and endurance athletes.
Self-efficacy was expected to be a strong determinant of effort tolerance (i.e., the ability to tolerate the exertive task for a sustained period of time). Task-specific self-efficacy and task-specific perceived ability were found to contribute significantly to accounted variance of exertion tolerance in the handgrip task, while physical self-efficacy and training history were found to contribute significantly to accounted variance of exertion tolerance in the cycle task. Thus, it was concluded that self-efficacy plays an important role in tolerating sustained physical effort. Based upon this it is suggested that optimizing self-efficacy should be a fundamental part of any exercise program.
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