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Feelin' Good...And Then Some: A Functional Evolutionary Approach to Positive Emotions in Sport

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Sport is a widespread phenomenon across human cultures and history. Unfortunately, positive emotions in sport have been long vaguely characterized as happy or pleasant, or ignored altogether. Recent emotion research has taken a differentiated approach, however, suggesting there are distinct

Sport is a widespread phenomenon across human cultures and history. Unfortunately, positive emotions in sport have been long vaguely characterized as happy or pleasant, or ignored altogether. Recent emotion research has taken a differentiated approach, however, suggesting there are distinct positive emotions with diverse implications for behavior. The present study applied this evolutionarily informed approach in the context of sport to examine which positive emotions are associated with play. It was hypothesized that pride, amusement, and enthusiasm, but not contentment or awe, would increase in Ultimate Frisbee players during a practice scrimmage. Further, it was hypothesized that increases in pride and amusement during practice would be differentially associated with sport outcomes, including performance (scores, assists, and defenses), subjective social connectedness, attributions of success, and attitudes toward the importance of practice. It was found that all positive emotions decreased during practice. It was also found that increases in pride were associated with more scores and greater social connectedness, whereas increases in amusement were associated with more assists. The present study was one of the first to examine change in positive emotions during play and to relate them to specific performance outcomes. Future studies should expand to determine which came first: emotion or performance.

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2014-05

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Pro-environmental motivation: an evolutionarily informed approach

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Pro-environmental goals often pit immediate self-interest against future communal interest. Consequently, the motivation to behave in pro-environmental ways can be particularly difficult to maintain over time. By framing environmental ills as threats to one's chronic concerns, I suggest that chronic

Pro-environmental goals often pit immediate self-interest against future communal interest. Consequently, the motivation to behave in pro-environmental ways can be particularly difficult to maintain over time. By framing environmental ills as threats to one's chronic concerns, I suggest that chronic motivations, such as disease avoidance, can be leveraged to engender longer-lasting pro-environmental motivation. Specifically, I suggest that three distinct categories of environmental ills should be associated with distinct chronic concerns, and that the mechanisms that regulate these concerns should also regulate reactions to related environmental ills: pollution should engage a pathogenic disgust mechanism, wastefulness a moral disgust mechanism, and framing environmental outcomes as posing safety concerns should be linked to fear and anger mechanisms. Results of four experiments did not lend consistent support to the hypotheses. Neither situationally primed concerns nor motivation-relevant individual differences produced consistent results suggesting an association between the proposed motivations and the relevant environmental outcomes.

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2012

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Investing in Me or You: A Novel Role of the Attachment System in Self and Other Tradeoffs

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Research on attachment in adults began by assuming parallels from attachment as a behavioral system for using relationships to balance the tradeoff between safety and exploration in infants, to the same tradeoff function in adults. Perhaps more pressing, for adults,

Research on attachment in adults began by assuming parallels from attachment as a behavioral system for using relationships to balance the tradeoff between safety and exploration in infants, to the same tradeoff function in adults. Perhaps more pressing, for adults, are the novel social tradeoffs adults face when deciding how to invest resources between themselves and their close relationship partners. The current study investigated the role of the attachment system in navigating two such tradeoffs, in a sample of ASU undergraduates. In one tradeoff condition, participants had the option of working on puzzles to earn either themselves or their closest friend a monetary reward. In the second tradeoff condition, participants worked to earn monetary rewards for a close or new friend. Analyses showed no evidence of attachment avoidance predicting prioritizing redistributing money to a close friend in either condition. While there was no effect of anxiety on prioritizing one’s close friend over one’s self, there was a marginal effect in both prioritizing one’s close friend over a new friend when redistributing money and starting on the close friend’s word search first. Although attachment style largely did not predict earning or redistributing monetary rewards in these two relationship tradeoffs, implications for how these results fit within the broader theoretical perspective are discussed.

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2018