Valence, form, and content of self-talk predict sport type and level of performance

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In this paper, we aimed to test whether we could predict sport type (badminton or running) and marathon proficiency from the valence, form, and content of the athletes' self-reported inner speech. Additionally, we wanted to assess the difference between self-talk during high intensity and low intensity exercise. The present study corroborated existing research - we were able to predict both sport type in Study 1 and intensity level as well as marathon proficiency in Study 2 from questionnaire data using machine learning models. In Study 1, we found that badminton players engage more in worry and anxiety-control while runners are more prone to task disengagement. Interestingly, it seemed in Study 2 that the more participants engaged in condensed, positive, and repetitive self-talk when not pushing themselves, the slower their fastest marathons and half marathons were. We discuss potential explanations for these findings and make suggestions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103102
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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