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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology
Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,111
The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2016 Jul 08
Influence of acute stress on decision outcomes and heuristics
Teri J. HEPLER, Attila J. KOVACS ✉
Exercise and Sport Science Department, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, La Crosse, USA
BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to examine the Take the First (TTF) heuristic and decision outcomes in sports under conditions of no, mental, and physical stress.
METHODS: Participants (N=68) performed 8 video decision-making trials under each of 3 stress conditions: no stress (counting backwards), mental stress (mental serial subtraction), and physical stress (running on treadmill at 13 RPE). Prior to each decision-making trial, participants were exposed to 30 seconds of stress. The decision-making task required participants to watch a video depicting an offensive situation in basketball and then decide what the player with the ball should do next.
RESULTS: No differences were found between the 3 stress conditions on TTF frequency, number of options generated, quality of first generated option, or final decision quality. However, participants performing under conditions of no stress and physical stress generated their first option and made their final decision faster than they did when making decisions under mental stress.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, results suggest that mental stress impairs decision speed and that TTF is an ecologically rationale heuristic in dynamic, time-pressured situations.