Anxiety and Visual Search Strategy in Expert Female Gymnasts.
Anxiety has been shown to have a significant effect on search strategy, (Williams & Elliot, 1999).
This study aimed to investigate the effects of anxiety on visual search strategy in
advanced competition level female gymnasts. Sample consisted of nine female gymnasts,
all of whom compete at an advanced level, age range 10-13 years. Gymnasts were presented with five
slides each showing a gymnast performing a skill under different levels of difficulty.
Eye-movements of the gymnasts were recorded using the ASL 5000 Eye-Tracking system, as they
imagined themselves in the position of the gymnast on the slide.
Number, duration and location of visual fixations were analysed. Location of fixations were further
examined with respect to responses made by the gymnasts while viewing the slides.
Results are discussed in relation to changes in visual search strategies and the theoretical and
practical implications of knowing where gymnasts look when they are anxious.
Nicola McGlade, Aidan Moran.
Department of Psychology, University College Dublin.
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