Social cognitive theories of sport motivation: Where have we pressed and how far can we push?

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A preponderance of contemporary research on sport motivation has been grounded in social cognitive conceptualizations of sport motivation, such as the Achievement Goal Theory (Ames, 1992; Dweck, 1999; Nicholls, 1984, 1989) and the Self-Determination framework (Deci & Ryan, 1991; Ryan & Deci, 2000). This presentation will take a critical look at this existent literature with a focus on investigations based primarily on the former theory. In particular, a number of issues will be raised with respect to potential directions for and considerations regarding subsequent work: (1) the adequacy of measurement of central constructs; (2) the prediction of achievement related patterns as well as indicators of a positive psychology”; (3) the potential interplay between social cognitive processes and physiological responses; (4) the reliance on cross-sectional research in which perceptions predict perceptions; (5) the need for theoretically based intervention studies that test hypothesized mechanisms; (6) moves toward theoretical integration; and (7) the role of values in the motivation to study motivation in the athletic domain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2002


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