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The use of imagery to manipulate challenge and threat appraisal states in athletes

Williams, S. E. and Cumming, Jennifer and Balanos, G. M. (2010) The use of imagery to manipulate challenge and threat appraisal states in athletes. Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 32 (3). pp. 339-358. ISSN 0895-2779

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URL of Published Version: http://journals.humankinetics.com/AcuCustom/SiteName/Documents/DocumentItem/18221.pdf

The present study investigated whether imagery could manipulate athletes’ appraisal of stress-evoking situations (i.e., challenge or threat) and whether psychological and cardiovascular responses and interpretations varied according to cognitive appraisal of three imagery scripts: challenge, neutral, and threat. Twenty athletes (M\(_{age}\) = 20.85; SD = 1.76; 10 female, 10 male) imaged each script while heart rate, stroke volume, and cardiac output were obtained using Doppler echocardiography. State anxiety and self-confidence were assessed following each script using the Immediate Anxiety Measures Scale. During the imagery, a significant increase in heart rate, stroke volume, and cardiac output occurred for the challenge and threat scripts (p < .05). Although there were no differences in physiological response intensities for both stress-evoking scripts, these responses, along with anxiety symptoms, were interpreted as facilitative during the challenge script and debilitative during the threat script. Results support using imagery to facilitate adaptive stress appraisal.

Type of Work:Article
Date:June 2010 (Publication)
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Sport and Exercise Sciences
Keywords:anxiety interpretation, coping, sport psychology, stress
Subjects:BF Psychology
QP Physiology
Institution:University of Birmingham
Copyright Holders:The Authors, Human Kinetics, Inc
ID Code:362
Refereed:YES
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