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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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The limitations and extent of category generalization within a partially learned hierarchical structure

Description

Most people are experts in some area of information; however, they may not be knowledgeable about other closely related areas. How knowledge is generalized to hierarchically related categories was explored. Past work has found little to no generalization to categories

Most people are experts in some area of information; however, they may not be knowledgeable about other closely related areas. How knowledge is generalized to hierarchically related categories was explored. Past work has found little to no generalization to categories closely related to learned categories. These results do not fit well with other work focusing on attention during and after category learning. The current work attempted to merge these two areas of by creating a category structure with the best chance to detect generalization. Participants learned order level bird categories and family level wading bird categories. Then participants completed multiple measures to test generalization to old wading bird categories, new wading bird categories, owl and raptor categories, and lizard categories. As expected, the generalization measures converged on a single overall pattern of generalization. No generalization was found, except for already learned categories. This pattern fits well with past work on generalization within a hierarchy, but do not fit well with theories of dimensional attention. Reasons why these findings do not match are discussed, as well as directions for future research.

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Date Created
2013

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Isomorphic categories

Description

Learning and transfer were investigated for a categorical structure in which relevant stimulus information could be mapped without loss from one modality to another. The category space was composed of three non-overlapping, linearly-separable categories. Each stimulus was composed of a

Learning and transfer were investigated for a categorical structure in which relevant stimulus information could be mapped without loss from one modality to another. The category space was composed of three non-overlapping, linearly-separable categories. Each stimulus was composed of a sequence of on-off events that varied in duration and number of sub-events (complexity). Categories were learned visually, haptically, or auditorily, and transferred to the same or an alternate modality. The transfer set contained old, new, and prototype stimuli, and subjects made both classification and recognition judgments. The results showed an early learning advantage in the visual modality, with transfer performance varying among the conditions in both classification and recognition. In general, classification accuracy was highest for the category prototype, with false recognition of the category prototype higher in the cross-modality conditions. The results are discussed in terms of current theories in modality transfer, and shed preliminary light on categorical transfer of temporal stimuli.

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Date Created
2011

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The effect of partial exemplar experience on ill-defined, multi-modal categories

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of partial exemplar experience on category formation and use. Participants had either complete or limited access to the three dimensions that defined categories by dimensions within different modalities. The concept

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of partial exemplar experience on category formation and use. Participants had either complete or limited access to the three dimensions that defined categories by dimensions within different modalities. The concept of "crucial dimension" was introduced and the role it plays in category definition was explained. It was hypothesized that the effects of partial experience are not explained by a shifting of attention between dimensions (Taylor & Ross, 2009) but rather by an increased reliance on prototypical values used to fill in missing information during incomplete experiences. Results indicated that participants (1) do not fill in missing information with prototypical values, (2) integrate information less efficiently between different modalities than within a single modality, and (3) have difficulty learning only when partial experience prevents access to diagnostic information.

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Date Created
2011

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Grounding concepts: physical interaction can provide minor benefit to category learning

Description

Categories are often defined by rules regarding their features. These rules may be intensely complex yet, despite the complexity of these rules, we are often able to learn them with sufficient practice. A possible explanation for how we arrive at

Categories are often defined by rules regarding their features. These rules may be intensely complex yet, despite the complexity of these rules, we are often able to learn them with sufficient practice. A possible explanation for how we arrive at consistent category judgments despite these difficulties would be that we may define these complex categories such as chairs, tables, or stairs by understanding the simpler rules defined by potential interactions with these objects. This concept, called grounding, allows for the learning and transfer of complex categorization rules if said rules are capable of being expressed in a more simple fashion by virtue of meaningful physical interactions. The present experiment tested this hypothesis by having participants engage in either a Rule Based (RB) or Information Integration (II) categorization task with instructions to engage with the stimuli in either a non-interactive or interactive fashion. If participants were capable of grounding the categories, which were defined in the II task with a complex visual rule, to a simpler interactive rule, then participants with interactive instructions should outperform participants with non-interactive instructions. Results indicated that physical interaction with stimuli had a marginally beneficial effect on category learning, but this effect seemed most prevalent in participants were engaged in an II task.

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2014