Duncan, T., & McAuley, E. (1987). Efficacy expectations and perceptions of causality in motor performance. Journal of Sport Psychology, 9, 385-393.

The relationship between self-efficacy and the cognitive appraisal of a competitive situation was investigated. Subjects were manipulated into high and low efficacy groups, engaged in a competitive motor task, and then gave causal attributions for the outcome.

Results. Males demonstrated significantly higher perceptions of physical ability than females. There were no differential attribution patterns for outcome between high and low efficacy groups, but winners made more stable and controllable attributions than did losers.

Implication. If winners are associated with stable and controllable attributions would it be of value to establish such a mind set prior to a performance? If individuals were prepared to believe that their self-control in a performance would be stable or predictable and that any occurrence would be controllable through adequate coping strategies, would they perform better and/or more consistently? The results of other studies suggest that this is highly likely.

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