CONTINGENT NEGATIVE VARIATION UNDER COMPETITIVE SITUATIONS1

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Abstract

Participants high and low in competitiveness completed a reaction-time task with a warning stimulus designed to elicit contingent negative variation, competing on reaction speed with a visible or invisible opponent to identify what affects contingent negative variation amplitude under more critical competitive situations. For participants low in competitiveness, contingent negative variation was larger and reaction time (RT) was shorter when winning a trial and competing with a visible opponent. For those high in competitiveness, contingent negative variation was larger under competitive situations with a visible opponent than with an invisible one, although no difference was found in RT. These findings suggest that contingent negative variation amplitude under competitive situations reflects not only motor preparation but also other psychological processes such as awareness of an opponent.

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