Date of Graduation
As positive psychology gains more attention in psychology, sport psychology consultants will likely increase the study of this branch of psychological research. Foster, Hinkelman, and Watson (2003) suggested that an area of importance for sport psychology researchers is the development of a program to teach athletes how to be more optimistic in their explanatory style (ES). Some sport related research has shown that an optimistic explanatory style better equips individuals to bounce back from failure (e.g., Martin-Krumm et al.; Seligman et al., 1990), while other research has shown that a pessimistic style may be more beneficial to sport performance (e.g., Davis & Zaichkowsky, 1998). However, no research thus far has examined the link between explanatory style and performance following success. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between explanatory style and sport performance. Competitive bowlers (N = 50) who participated in regional tournaments and local leagues completed the Attributional Style Questionnaire (ASQ, Peterson et al., 1982), a bowling ASQ (BASQ), and a demographic sheet prior to bowling. Data regarding the participants' bowling performance and explanations for this performance was collected following each of three games. Results of this investigation revealed that the bowlers' perceptions of success or failure were not dependent on their success or failure in the previous game. Following Game 1, there was a significant interaction between explanatory style grouping and perception of success; those with optimistic ES and a successful performance in Game 1 saw a decrease in scores for Game 2; however, all other bowlers had increasing scores from Game 1 to Game 2. Significant correlations were found between bowling experience and ASQ composite score; tournament experience was found to have a low-moderate correlation with ASQ composite score. Scores on the BASQ did not significantly correlate with scores on the ASQ. Possible reasons for these findings may include the nature of the sport of bowling or that bowlers may have learned to succeed despite their ES through perseverance and experience.
Parker, Paula M., "The effects of explanatory style on bowling performance." (2005). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9556.