Psychology Laboratory

The Sport Psychology Laboratory at includes a variety of equipment which allows students to measure and explore various aspects of motor control and sport performance.

To measure aspects of decision making and reaction time, which of course are both critical to sport performance, the laboratory has a Dynavision 2000 system. This is a wall mounted array of lights which light up in a random fashion; the aim being to record an individual’s speed of response and thus number of reactions made within a given time frame. When working in pairs students can also observe how significant communication and understanding within a team environment can be.

The lab is also equipped with a Bassin Anticipation Timer, which allows students to explore the effects of anticipation on sport performance. This is often used in conjunction with film footage to look at how players may react in specific sporting situations.

The ASL eye tracker 500 measures the gaze of an individual and can be used in a variety of situations. For example, tracking visual cues utilised by novice and elite sport performers or recording where referees specifically look when making their decisions. At present this system is being used to explore differences in visual search patterns of coaches and judges in subjective sports such as gymnastics and dressage.

Complimenting the array of reaction time and visual search strategy equipment are mirror tracers, discrimination weights and rotary pursuit machines. These enable our students to explore not only the learning of motor skills but also enable them to experience and comprehend the effects of anxiety, fatigue and competition on sport performance.

The Sport Psychology Laboratory is used by students across all levels of our undergraduate programme. Our teaching practice comprises of a combination of lead lectures, seminars and practicals (which take place in the lab). This provides our students with the opportunity to gather data relevant to the specific concept/theory under investigation. We believe this ‘hands-on’ experience is vital for students, as they are able to experience personally how psychological constructs can impact on performance.

 

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