Anxiety and Ironic Errors of Performance: Task Instruction Matters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Electronic versions

Documents

DOI

We present five experiments that examined Wegner’s (1994) theory of ironic processes of mental control in reactive motor performance under pressure for the first time. In Experiments 1, 2 and 4, we conducted specific examinations of the incidence of ironic error using a reactive motor task. In Experiments 3 and 5 we provided the first tests of whether task instruction moderates the incidence of ironic errors. The task required participants to react to a series of three primary color balls as they rolled down a chute under low- and high-anxiety conditions. Measures of anxiety, heart rate, heart rate variability and muscle activity confirmed the effectiveness of the anxiety manipulation. Experiments 1, 2 and 4 revealed that anxiety increased the number of ironic errors. In Experiments 3 and 5, we provided the first evidence that instructional interventions can reduce the incidence of anxiety-induced ironic performance errors in reactive motor tasks.

Keywords

  • human movement, mental control, pressure, reactive task
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-95
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Volume41
Issue number2
Early online date27 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

Total downloads

No data available
View graph of relations