Metamotivational and contextual effects on performance, self-efficacy, and shifts in affective states


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Abstract

Objectives:To examine reversal theory's (RT) postulations that telic–paratelic dominance is associated with respective arousal interpretations and shifts under different environmental conditions.Design and procedure:Two studies were carried out with the same 40 students. They were categorized into telic, paratelic, and non-dominance metamotivational orientation. In study 1, participants performed dart-throwing from two distances: short (1.37 m) and long (3.37 m). In study 2, performance feedback (win, lose, win/lose) was manipulated using a competitive task. Two players, of whom one was a confederate, competed while standing side by side separated by a white curtain, which prevented visual contact with the opponent. Feedback was provided by the researcher. Arousal, pleasantness, and self-efficacy measures where administered during four trial blocks during task engagement.Results:Throwing darts from the short throwing distance was associated with more pleasant feelings for telic than paratelic players, even though paratelic players were more self-efficacious and exhibited better performance. High-paratelic dominance and non-dominance players reported greater self-efficacy perceptions throughout the trials of the long throwing distance condition, suggesting that metamotivational dominance might affect efficacy beliefs during motor activities. Under variable (win/lose) and negative (lose) feedback paratelic-dominant players demonstrated better dart accuracy performance, reported more pleasant feelings, and higher efficacy perceptions than telic-dominant players. Overall, the study only partially confirmed the RT postulations.Conclusions:State of the mind and affect shift during task engagement are evident in performers, and must be studied within different environmental contexts and conditions. Further studies are needed to explore the ‘shifts' thresholds’ (i.e., under what conditions people shift their state of mind) associated with contextual–metamotivational dominance interactions.

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