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Modeling should be a key sport psychology tool thanks to improved video technology

Penny McCullagh

Penny McCullagh

  • July 19, 2010 5:00am

Penny McCullagh, professor and chair of the kinesiology department, will present her new research, “Using Modeling to Enhance Physical and Psychological Skills,” at the Sport Psychology and Sports Sciences (SPASS) Conference in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy in September 2010.

“Despite the recognition of modeling as a powerful tool for behavior change, most sport psychology texts do not refer to modeling as an effective intervention technique... Oftentimes, the use of video for modifying both psychological and physical behaviors is suggested by sport psychology consultants but rarely is reference made to the modeling literature for guidance.” McCullagh reviewed three lines of research that might provide insight for practitioners. “First, the type of model most effective for behavior change will be examined. Should the demonstrator be a highly skilled or are there other types of models that may prove effective. Second, a comparison of modeling and imagery will be made. Imagery is one of the most recognized tools in the sport psychology toolbox. Many studies that use imagery as an intervention upon close inspection actually have modeling as an unlabeled intervention. Finally, the role of watching yourself or self-modeling in the behavior change process will be examined. With the advent and improvements in video technology, modeling should become a prominent intervention in sport psychology.”


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