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Think aloud research in sport and exercise psychology: A focused mapping review and synthesis

McGreary, M, Jackman, PC, Eccles, DW and Whitehead, A (2024) Think aloud research in sport and exercise psychology: A focused mapping review and synthesis. Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology, 13 (1). ISSN 2157-3905

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Use of Ericsson and Simon’s (1980, 1993) think aloud (TA) method within sport and exercise psychology research has increased in recent years. The purpose of this review was to map current research that has used the TA method with athletes and exercisers by synthesising published literature that has adopted the TA method to investigate athlete or exerciser cognitions during task performance. Seven electronic databases were searched three times, with a final search conducted in April 2023. Thirty-six studies satisfying the eligibility criteria were included. Several methodological issues were identified including misunderstandings about the nature of the TA method, leading to the use of methods different from and sometimes antithetical to those proposed by Ericsson and Simon (1980, 1993). Other issues identified concerned participant samples, TA training, ecological validity of tasks, and defining the standard of participants. Theoretical misconceptions, methodological considerations, and recommendations for future research using the TA method to generate understanding of participant cognitions during task performance in sport and exercise are discussed. This review documents the extent and nature of the use of the TA method within sport and exercise psychology research and can guide researchers seeking to conduct high-quality research involving the TA method in future.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ©American Psychological Association, 2024. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. The final article is available, upon publication, at https://doi.org/10.1037/spy0000343
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: American Psychological Association
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2023 13:45
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2024 15:45
DOI or ID number: 10.1037/spy0000343
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22134
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