The moderating effects of self-talk content on self-talk functions
The purpose of the study was to examine whether different types of self-talk serve different functions. Twenty-one female swimming class students were initially tested on an experimental water polo precision task. After a three-day program during which participants practiced self-talk on swimming drills, they were tested again on the experimental task, using attentional and anxiety control self-talk cues. In addition, participants completed a questionnaire assessing perceived functions of self-talk, for each of the two self-talk cues that were used. Repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) revealed that according to participants' perceptions the anxiety control self-talk cue had greater impact on anxiety control than the attentional self-talk cue ( p <.01), whereas effects for attention, effort, confidence, and automaticity were similar when using attentional and anxiety control cues. Furthermore, repeated measures MANOVAs for each self-talk cue revealed that both cues mostly assisted concentration to the task ( p <.01). The results partially support that the use of different types of self-talk may serve different functions depending on the content of the employed cues.