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In a sporting context, this study examined metamotivational reversals between the telic and paratelic states and the factors affecting them. Twenty male rugby players took part. After competitive matches they completed the State of Mind Indicator For Athletes (SOMIFA: Kerr & Apter, 1999) and attended interviews incorporating the Telic State Measure (TSM: Svebak & Murgatroyd, 1985) and a modified Metamotivational State Interview and Coding Schedule (Potocky, Cook, & O'Connell, 1993). Data were deductively analyzed using existing reversal theory definitions of the telic (a serious-minded and future orientation) and paratelic (a spontaneous, playful orientation) states and the factors proposed to induce reversals between these states. Reversals in state were observed and these were caused mainly by contingent events (factors external to the individual). None was attributed to satiation (a change in state caused by experiencing only one state for an extended time period) and a limited number were attributed to frustration, which also combined with contingent events to induce some reversals. Although further evidence is presented for metamotivational state reversals during sport, future longitudinal studies are needed that address all reversal theory states.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2002

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