Goal-directed and undirected self-talk: Exploring a new perspective for the study of athletes' self-talk

Latinjak, Alexander, Zorbanos, N, Lopez-Ros, V and Hatzigeorgiadis, A (2014) Goal-directed and undirected self-talk: Exploring a new perspective for the study of athletes' self-talk. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 15 (5). pp. 548-558. ISSN 1469-0292

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The present study aimed to introduce the distinction between goal-directed and undirected thoughts used in general psychology into the automatic self-talk paradigm used in sport psychology. In particular, the purpose of this investigation was to explore the structure and the content of athletes' goal-directed and undirected self-talk.

Overall, 87 athletes participated in two studies (n = 32 and n = 55, respectively). Qualitative methods were used to analyze data, in the form of text units that were collected retrospectively through thought sampling regarding participants' self-talk.

The analysis revealed differences in the structure of goal-directed and un-directed self-talk. Spontaneous, undirected, self-talk involved mostly explaining past outcomes and foreseeing upcoming events, whereas goal-directed self-talk aimed at attaining control over cognitions and activation for action. Spontaneous self-talk could be classified based on two dimensions: valence (positive–negative) and time-perspective (retrospective, present-related, and anticipatory), whereas goal-directed self-talk could be classified into two different dimensions: activation (activated states, neutral, deactivated states) and time-orientation (past, past–present, present–future, and future oriented). Furthermore, differences were also observed with regard to the person at which statements were addressed.

Overall, the findings attempt to explore a new perspective into the study of self-talk, which can help improving the conceptualization, creating new research directions, and enhancing the understanding of self-talk for developing effective interventions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: thoughts, cognitive processes, valence, time perspective, activation
Subjects: Q Science > QM Human anatomy
Divisions: Faculty of Health & Science > Department of Science & Technology
Depositing User: David Upson-Dale
Date Deposited: 03 May 2018 07:56
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2018 13:25
URI: https://oars.uos.ac.uk/id/eprint/606

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