A POSITIVE APPROACH TO COMPETING LEADS TO GREATER ENJOYMENT IN CONTESTS
Catanzaro, S. J. (1989). Effects of enhancement expectancies on expectancy and minimal goal statements. The Journal of Psychology, 123, 91-100.
This study evaluated the hypothesis that enhancement expectancy -- the expectancy that one would enjoy an achievement task -- would be related to optimally adjusted behavior. College students (M = 28; F = 55) made expectancy ratings for several experimental outcomes on a level of aspiration task. Ss received standard instructions (control) or were told that many students had enjoyed the task (enhancement).
Ss in the enhancement condition rated the task as more interesting and less stressful, and their performances more positively than controls. Performances were closer to stated expectancies than were those of control Ss.
Implication. If individuals can be made to perceive a task in a positive light, it will be enjoyed more and performance will be appraised more positively. In competitive sport settings, a positive approach to competing will lead to more enjoyment and positive appraisals of the experience.
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