Introduction to the special issue: perspectives on mood in sport and exercise

Terry, Peter C. (2000) Introduction to the special issue: perspectives on mood in sport and exercise. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, 12 (1). pp. 1-4. ISSN 1041-3200

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The link between physical activity and mood is perhaps one of the most intuitively appealing relationships in the whole area of sport and exercise psychology. Failure to “get in the right mood” seems to be a common attribution for poor performance by athletes, while mood enhancement appears to be an important motive for participation among exercisers. However, intuitive appeal and empirical support is not the same thing, a distinction confirmed by the equivocal nature of research findings pertaining to mood and physical activity. Answers to the frequently investigated research questions, “Does exercise enhance mood?” and “Can mood predict athletic performance?” have been characterized by a cautious “yes” qualified by a substantial list of “if’s” and “but’s.”
Since the pioneering research efforts of William Morgan and colleagues in the 1970’s, efforts that still continue today, attitudes toward mood-performance relationships in sport have passed through periods of sustained credibility to increasingly skeptical scrutiny. Morgan demonstrated that the scores of athletes on the Profile of Mood States (POMS: McNair, Lorr, & Droppleman, 1971), particularly at an elite level, were characterized by the now famous iceberg profile, combining high vigor with low tension, depression, anger, fatigue and confusion. This finding subsequently led to the POMS being proclaimed in Psychology Today as the “test of champions” (Morgan, 1980).
The veracity of this claim and the significance of an iceberg mood profile have been challenged in more recent review articles (e.g., Renger, 1993; Rowley, Landers, Kyllo, & Etnier, 1995). Indeed, Renger (1993) went as far as calling for researchers to “abandon the POMS” (p.83) in research on successful and unsuccessful athletes. As the reader will discover, there is much support within these pages for the basic tenets of Morgan’s (1985) Mental Health Model and hopefully much information that moves beyond simply espousing the benefits of a particular mood profile.
This special issue of the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology is devoted to a range of theoretical, measurement, and empirical issues in the area of mood research. It brings together some of the most influential researchers in the field, who offer different perspectives on the extant literature. The special issue is intended to provide a valuable resource for researchers of mood in the sport and exercise environments, offering new theoretical perspectives, comprehensive reviews of the literature, normative data for sport and exercise, and a bibliography of the most recent publications in the area.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Author's version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2008 03:07
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:06
Uncontrolled Keywords: mood; sport; exercise; physical activity; athletes
Fields of Research (2008): 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170114 Sport and Exercise Psychology
Fields of Research (2020): 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5201 Applied and developmental psychology > 520107 Sport and exercise psychology
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