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Sept 24 - Sciences in Sport Psych continued.doc

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University of Alberta
Physical Education and Sport
John Dunn

Sept 24 – Sciences In Sport Psych Continued Assessing Scientific Sport Psych Research How should readers assess sport psych research? • Assess the adequacy of the construct definition • Assess the appropriateness of any causal inferences • Assess sample characteristics and the appropriateness of any generalizations • Assess the appropriateness of the measures Assessing the appropriateness of the measures • Has validity and reliability information been reported? (psychometric evidence) • Was the instrument originally developed for use with a sport population (relevance) • Are the items “culturally relevant”? • Ex. Measuring “fear of injury” in hockey • Ex. Measuring extroversion/introversion in personality research Professional Practice Knowledge • Knowledge gained by people (coaches, athletes, teachers) on the basis of their “experiences” gained while working or participating in sport and exercise settings. Strengths • Holistic • Innovative • Immediate Weaknesses • problems of replicability • provide little explanation of why something works • problem of “personal bias” Universal Laws • No such thing as a universal law in the social sciences • We create theories and these theories help us understand things. In physiology, we do have universal laws • Research findings based on averages and probabilities • We base our theories on averages and aggregates rather than hard and fast people • No such thing as an “average mind” or an “average athlete” (allport) • Know allport*, one of the biggest social scientists, said there is no such thing as an average mind. Nomothetic Research vs. Idiographic Research Nomothetic Research • Involves the study of many people • Nomthetic is based on the greek word nomos, meaning multiple • Is there some systematic regularity in the construct of interest across people? • “that which is true in the aggregate” Idiographic Research • Intensive study of the individual we can understand why certain phenomena exist in certain individuals • Idios means proper to one • Limited generalizability of findings beyond the individual Key Arguement • Frank – “nomothetic science can never escape the individual because its findings must (eventually) be applied to the individual” Procedures • Purpose: assess the psychological structure of situational threat in ice hockey • 46 male uni hockey players • Obtain a group-level perceptual profile of 15 game situations (items) based upon their underlying threatening characteristics • Examine degree to which group-profile accurately reflects perception of individual athletes • Interview athletes to get their interpretations of the data Centers Quote • “as a forward, its not really my fault in situation 5. Theres only one team forecheck that id be responsible in that situation. Its really out of my control if a guy gets a breakaway. I have even less control when the ref makes an error. Theres just nothing I can do”. • Individuals perceptions are “
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