Examining the effect of state anxiety on compensatory and strategic adjustments in the planning of goal-directed aiming

Roberts, James W. and Wilson, Mark R. and Skultety, Jessica and Lyons, James L. (2018) Examining the effect of state anxiety on compensatory and strategic adjustments in the planning of goal-directed aiming. Acta Psychologica, 185. pp. 33-40. ISSN 0001-6918

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The anxiety-perceptual-motor performance relationship may be enriched by investigations involving discrete manual responses due to the definitive demarcation of planning and control processes, which comprise the early and late portions of movement, respectively. To further examine the explanatory power of self-focus and distraction theories, we explored the potential of anxiety causing changes to movement planning that accommodate for anticipated negative effects in online control. As a result, we posed two hypotheses where anxiety causes performers to initially undershoot the target and enable more time to use visual feedback (‘play-it-safe’), or fire a ballistic reach to cover a greater distance without later undertaking online control (‘go-for-it’). Participants were tasked with an upper-limb movement to a single target under counter-balanced instructions to execute fast and accurate responses (low/normal anxiety) with non-contingent negative performance feedback (high anxiety). The results indicated that the previously identified negative impact of anxiety in online control was replicated. While anxiety caused a longer displacement to reach peak velocity and greater tendency to overshoot the target, there appeared to be no shift in the attempts to utilise online visual feedback. Thus, the tendency to initially overshoot may manifest from an inefficient auxiliary procedure that manages to uphold overall movement time and response accuracy.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Acta Psychologica. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. When published, the definitive version will be available via the DOI: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2018.01.008 © 2018. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Keywords: anxiety; self-focus theories; distraction theories; planning; online control
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > School of Health Sciences
Depositing User: James Roberts
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2018 16:15
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2019 16:24
URI: https://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/2345

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