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Title: The role of dispositional reinvestment in choking during decision-making tasks in sport
Authors: Kinrade, Noel Peter
Advisors: Jackson, RC
Ashford, K
Keywords: Performance under pressure;Working memory;Self-focus;Explicit monitoring;Self-consciousness
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Brunel University School of Sport and Education PhD Theses
Abstract: This thesis examines the moderating effect of dispositional reinvestment upon ‘choking’ in cognitive based tasks such as decision-making. Study 1 tested sixty-three participants’ performances on low- and high-complexity tests of motor skill, psychomotor skill and working memory under low- and high-pressure conditions. The association between reinvestment and choking was shown to extend beyond the motor skill domain to cognitive tasks, particularly those that tax working memory, with task complexity moderating this relationship. Next, a psychometric scale to identify individuals more susceptible to impaired decision-making under pressure was developed. A 13-item decision-specific version of the Reinvestment Scale (Masters, Polman, & Hammond, 1993) measuring an individual’s propensity to engage in conscious control and manifestations of ruminative thoughts emerged following factor analysis. Initial assessment of the scale’s predictive validity showed scores were highly correlated with coaches’ ratings of players’ tendency to choke. The final two studies examined choking using sport specific decision-making tasks. Initial findings were inconclusive, as choking was not observed. It was suggested the task lacked the sufficient cognitive demands to induce reinvestment. The last study, manipulating task complexity, found dispositional reinvestment to be associated with choking in the high complexity condition. The Decision-Specific Reinvestment Scale was also shown to be a better predictor of choking than the original scale. Overall, support was found for the hypothesis that Reinvestment is detrimental to performance under pressure in cognitive based tasks; however may not be the sole cause of disrupted performance. Masters and Maxwell’s (2004) concept of a working memory based explanation and Mullen and Hardy (2000) attentional threshold hypothesis offer a potential explanation to the findings.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
Appears in Collections:Brunel University Theses
Dept of Life Sciences Theses

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