University of Twente Student Theses


Motor skill under pressure: games, stress and automaticity

Jong, M.A. de (2011) Motor skill under pressure: games, stress and automaticity.

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Abstract:Choking under pressure is described by distraction and explicit monitoring theories (DeCaro, Thomas, Albert, & Beilock, 2011). Distraction theories propose that distraction disrupts tasks that rely on working memory, while explicit monitoring disrupts automatic processes such as proceduralized motor skills. Furthermore, the attentional control theory (ACT) incorporates emotion in the form of anxiety to predict detrimental effects on performance effciency, but not effectiveness (Eysenck, Derakshan, Santos, & Calvo, 2007). The present study examined the use of a video game task intended to manipulate performance pressure and anxiety and investigated the resulting effects on a motor skill task. The discrete sequence production (DSP) task was proceduralized by practice and used as the motor skill task in a task switching design with the pressure manipulating game task. Evidence was found for both explicit monitoring, affecting the proceduralized DSP task, and distraction theories, affecting switching between the game task and the DSP task. Effects of anxiety were also found, but no main affects that were predicted by ACT, indicating the need for further research on this matter. In conclusion, it appears that video games are indeed suitable to manipulate pressure situations on motor skills.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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