Type of Document Dissertation Author Young, Patrick R. Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-07162010-105737 Title Motivational Orientation of Risk Sport Participants: Does Planning-related Behavior Affect Participation? Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Robert C. Eklund Committee Chair David Eccles Committee Member Gershon Tenenbaum Committee Member Robert Glueckauf University Representative Keywords
- Risk Sports
Date of Defense 2010-05-13 Availability unrestricted AbstractWithin the last decade, risk sports and activities have received a great deal of attention within the psychological arena. With this attention, risk sport participants have been identified as registering high in the sensation-seeking personality trait, displaying an enhanced degree of self-efficacy, and reflecting a paratelic metamotivational state dominance. Recently, research within this domain has provided evidence that risk sport participants actively engage in a degree of deliberate and purposeful preparatory behavior, which is contrary to the impulsive and spontaneous generalizations that often characterize these sport participants.
Preparatory behavior is often engaged in by risk sport participants in an attempt to positively influence the appraisal of their risk sport environment. Through the use of preparatory behavior such as rehearsing task-specific motor movements, checking weather reports, and establishing contingency plans, risk sport participants attempt to increase their perception of control over task-relevant and environmental stimuli. As a result of this planning-related behavior, participants can successfully enhance their perceptual control over their sport environment. Consequently, risk sport participants often obtain an increased degree of motivational desire to participate, and risk sport performance is often enhanced.
The current investigation sought to empirically test the effect of manipulating risk sport participantsí cognitive resources prior to engaging in a risk sport task. Inexperienced and experienced climbing participants (N =72) were either prompted or unprompted to engage in preparatory behavior, or were cognitively interfered with via completion of several mental puzzles (i.e., verbal responses to mathematical equations, etc.) prior to engaging in a timed top-roping (i.e., vertical) task. This manipulation was done in an attempt to influence climbing participantsí degree of planning, their perceptual control over the risk sport environment, their degree of motivation to complete the climbing task, and their overall risk sport performance (i.e., time to complete the climb). Participantsí degree of climbing experience was also investigated to determine the degree to which climbing experience moderated the effect of the manipulation in regards to planning, perceptions of control, motivation, and performance.
Results of the current investigation support previous research that risk sport participants do actively engage in preparatory behavior. Specifically, the manipulation of cognitive resources was found to significantly affect climbing participantsí planning-related behavior. Furthermore, participant climbing experience was found to significantly affect participantsí degree of planning, perceptual control, and risk sport performance. Climbing participants who were either instructed to plan or afforded a time interval to plan if they so chose to, reported significantly higher degrees of planning than participantsí who were cognitively interfered with. Climbing participants who reported higher degrees of planning tended to report descriptively higher perceptions of control, a higher degree of motivation, and recorded faster climbing times.
Discussion concerns the influence of preparatory behavior on perceptual control, motivation, and performance within risk sports and activities. Preparatory behavior, which is contrary to the tenants of the paratelic metamotivational state dominance characteristic of risk sport participants, is also addressed. Future research in regards to the role of preparatory behavior within risk sport activity should address a diverse selection of sports and activities. Furthermore an attempt to further examine the relationship between preparatory behavior and perceptual control is warranted.
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