Speaking clearly: A critical review of the self-talk literature


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Abstract

The present review of the self-talk literature attempts to stimulate research in this under-investigated area. A critique of how the construct has been defined is offered. A working definition of self-talk is then presented. The nature of self-talk is then focused upon. Six aspects are covered: (a) self-talk's valence (i.e. positive–negative self-talk); (b) overtness (i.e. covert–overt self-talk); (c) frequency; (d) how self-determined the self-talk is; (e) (directional and intensity) motivational interpretations of self-talk; and (f) the functions that self-talk can serve for the athlete. Finally, applicable theories to the study of self-talk are forwarded in order to provide interested researchers with theory-based future directions for research.

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