Effect of positive and negative emotions on novice and experienced sensorimotor skill performance.
In this study, attentional resources were directed toward positive, negative and neutral emotional word stimuli to explore the effect of emotions on sensorimotor skill performance. Forty novice and 40 experienced basketballers completed a primary free-throw shooting task and a secondary word semantics task under single-task conditions and three dual-task conditions (positive, negative, and neutral). Shooting performance and word semantics performance for both novice and experienced basketballers improved in the dual-task positive condition relative to the dual-task negative condition. In terms of shooting performance, experienced basketballers performed significantly better in the dual-task positive condition than all other experimental conditions. In addition, the discrepancy in shooting performance between positive and negative conditions was more pronounced for the experienced basketballers than the novices arguably due to greater automaticity and therefore extra attention capacity available to experienced performers to process and complete the secondary task. Consistent with recent skill acquisition research it is concluded that the distraction of the secondary task, and in particular the direction of attention toward positive emotion, provided benefit by diverting attention away from execution of the primary task. This in turn enhanced sensorimotor skill learning for novice participants, and promoted performance-relevant thoughts and automatic skill execution for experienced basketballers.
Combined Abstracts of the 2009 Australian Psychology Conferences.
Sport and Exercise Psychology