Psychological Momentum During and Across Sports Matches: Evidence for Interconnected Time Scales

Den Hartigh, R. J. R., Van Geert, P. L. C., Van Yperen, N. W., Cox, R. F. A. & Gernigon, C., Feb-2016, In : Journal of sport & exercise psychology. 38, 1, p. 82-92

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

This study on psychological momentum (PM) in sports provides the first experimental test of an interconnection between short-term PM (during a match) and long-term PM (across a series of matches). Twenty-two competitive athletes were striving to win a prize during a rowing-ergometer tournament, consisting of manipulated races. As hypothesized, athletes who had developed long-term positive PM after two successful races were less sensitive to a negative momentum scenario in the third race, compared with athletes who had developed long-term negative PM after two unsuccessful races. More specifically, the exerted efforts, perceptions of momentum, and self-efficacy were higher for participants who had developed long-term positive PM, and their perceptions of momentum and self-efficacy decreased less rapidly. These results illustrate a typical complex dynamical systems property, namely interconnected time scales, and provide deeper insights into the dynamical nature of PM.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-92
JournalJournal of sport & exercise psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb-2016


  • Attractor, Complexity, Dynamical systems, Effort exertion, Self-Efficacy, PHASE-TRANSITIONS, SELF-ORGANIZATION, PERFORMANCE, MODEL, DYNAMICS, COMPETITION, EFFICACY, SUCCESS

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