Recent News Articles
Weakest link steps up in relay races
Athletes who fared poorest in individual races stepped up when they were the weakest members of a swimming or running relay, U.S. researchers found.
Deborah Feltz, a Michigan State University professor, and Kaitlynn Osborn, an MSU graduate student, provide some of the first real-world support for the Kohler motivation effect.
The Kohler effect occurs when an inferior team member performs a difficult task better in a team or co-action situation than one would expect from knowledge of his or her individual performance.
The first study examined motivational gains and losses, as measured by performance, of 68 athletes on NCAA 200-yard freestyle swimming teams. The second study looked at the same measures, but in 156 athletes competing on high school track and field teams.
The study, published in the journal Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology, found female athletes were more affected by indispensability pressures — performed better when being viewed as an important member of the team, while males tended to be more motivated by social comparison, meaning they performed better when compared specifically with competing athletes, the researchers said.
“Researchers for years have been attempting to understand the complex nature of motivation in sport, partly to find a way to increase athletes’ motivation to perform,” Osborn said in a statement. “Our findings show weaker team members are more motivated when working with others than when working alone.”
Copyright 2012 by United Press International