Psychological momentum has been an elusive phenomenon in sport psychology research. The present study utilized a two-round free-throw shooting contest between pairs of participants to examine factors which influenced participants' perceptions of momentum and subsequent changes in performance. Factors hypothesized to contribute to perceptions of momentum were divided into three categories of Personal Variables, Situational Variables, and Self-ratings of Performance. Perceptions of momentum could be significantly predicted by both Situational Variables and Self-ratings of Performance. Changes in performance, however, were only significantly predicted by Situational Variables. These findings support the notion that attributions of positive and negative psychological momentum function simply as a labeling process in the evaluation of performance, with little or no effect on subsequent performance. Based on these findings and other research on psychological momentum, a theoretical model (Projected Performance Model) is proposed to conceptualize more clearly fluctuations in performance and their relationship to the construct of psychological momentum.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Sensory Systems