Providing Choice Enhances Motor Performance under Psychological Pressure

Takehiro Iwatsuki, Mark P. Otten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The purpose of this present study was to examine whether providing choice would enhance motor performance under psychological pressure. Participants were asked to throw soft-golf balls toward a circular target. The practice phase consisted of 30 trials using three colored balls (i.e., blue, red, yellow) from 5.5 meters. Participants then performed 10 throws from 2 different distances: 5.5 meters (pressure phase) and 6.5 meters (transfer pressure phase) under psychological pressure. Prior to the pressure and transfer pressure phases, the choice group participants were asked to choose the color of the soft-golf ball whereas the control group participants were yoked to their counterpart participant based on the selections of their colored balls. Results demonstrated that despite similar throwing accuracy being produced at the pressure phase between the two groups, the choice group had significantly higher accuracy scores at the transfer pressure phase than the control group. Thus, the autonomy-supportive condition led to enhanced motor performance under psychological pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)656-662
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of motor behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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