Quiet eye training promotes challenge appraisals and aids performance under elevated anxiety

Moore, Lee J and Vine, Samuel J and Freeman, Paul and Wilson, Mark R (2012) Quiet eye training promotes challenge appraisals and aids performance under elevated anxiety. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 11 (2). pp. 169-183. ISSN 1612-197X

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Abstract

Quiet eye training, a decision training intervention developed by Vickers and colleagues (see Vickers [Vickers, J.N. 2007. Perception, cognition and decision training: The quiet eye in action. Champaign: Human Kinetics] for a review), has been shown to facilitate anxiety-resistant performance in novice learners [Vine, S.J., & Wilson, M.R. 2010. Quiet eye training: Effects on learning and performance under pressure. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 22, 361–376; Vine, S.J., & Wilson, M.R. 2011. The influence of quiet eye training and pressure on attention and visuomotor control. Acta Psychologica, 136, 340–346]. However, the potential mechanisms underpinning this beneficial effect are not fully known. This study examined the effects of a quiet eye training intervention on golf putting performance (mean performance error), gaze control (quiet eye duration), and one possible psychological mechanism; cognitive appraisal (evaluation of perceived demands and resources). Thirty novice participants were randomly assigned to a quiet eye or technical trained group and completed 420 baseline, training, retention, and pressure putts. Gaze was measured using an ASL Mobile Eye Tracker. Cognitive anxiety and appraisal were assessed via the mental readiness form-3 [Krane, V. 1994. The mental readiness form as a measure of competitive state anxiety. The Sport Psychologist, 8, 189–202] and cognitive appraisal ratio [Tomaka, J., Blascovich, J., Kelsey, R.M., & Leitten, C.L. 1993. Subjective, physiological, and behavioural effects of threat and challenge appraisal. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 248–260], respectively. Although both groups experienced greater cognitive anxiety (p < .001), the quiet eye trained group performed more accurately (p < .001), displayed more effective gaze control (p < .001), and appraised the pressure test more favourably than the technical trained group (p < .05). The more positive appraisal arose from the quiet eye trained group reporting a greater perception of coping resources than the technical trained group (p < .05). Mediation analyses revealed that cognitive appraisal mediated the relationship between training group and mean radial error during the pressure test. Thus, quiet eye training protects against performance failure under increased anxiety by amplifying perceived coping resources, permitting performers to appraise demanding competitive situations more adaptively, as a challenge rather than a threat.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Computing and Applied Sciences > School of Sport & Exercise > Sport and Exercise
Research Priority Areas: Sport, Exercise, Health & Wellbeing
Depositing User: Lee Moore
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2015 14:19
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2016 11:59
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/2877

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