Introduction rugby and hockey layers attempted to complete as

Introduction 

Self-control has been
defined as “the process of volitionally controlling and overriding predominant,
habitual tendencies in order to achieve a specific goal” (Baumeister, Vohs,
& Tice, 2007). Multiple scientific studies have shown that following the
exertion of self-control on one task, the athletes typically have an impaired
ability to self-regulate when they perform a second task, even if the task is
drawn from a different domain (Hagger, Wood, Stiff, & Chatzisarantis,
2010).

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            A
study that has explored the effect of self-control exertion on subsequent
performance is “Prior self-control exertion and perceptions of pain during a
physically demanding task” (Boat & Taylor 2017). The aim of this study was
to explore whether self-control exertion reduces performance levels on a
physically demanding task, and whether any physical performance levels dropped
due to pain. The study included 63 individuals, 21 male and 42 female, the
individuals on average spent 4 days per week exercising, these individuals had
to partake in an easy stroop task or a difficult stroop task that require self-control.
Participants were then required to partake in the wall-sit until they couldn’t
hold the position anymore, their perception of pain was also recorded during
the task. When the individuals partook in the difficult strop task, they hit
the wall-sit sooner compared to the participants that completed the easy stroop
task, the reduction of performance was explained by greater perceptions of pain
at the beginning of the wall-sit. Perceptions of pain therefore are an
important mechanism explaining why self-control use interferes with subsequent
persistence during hard physical tasks. 

A study looked at the
effects of ego depletion on physical exercise routines of athletes (Dorris, D.
Power, & Kenefick, 2012). The aim of this study was to see if persisting at
a task can temporarily reduce one’s ability to persist at subsequent tasks. Two
experimental studies examined if ego depletion can lessen athletes’ persistence
at a routine physical exercise. Experiment 1 recruited 24 competitive rowers.
All participants were male and over 18 years old. The rowers attempted to
complete as many sit ups as possible after completing an easy cognitive task
and then again after completing a difficult cognitive task. Experiment 2
recruited 24 University College students from hockey and rugby clubs comprising
6 male rugby players, 2 male hockey players, and 16 female hockey players. The
rugby and hockey layers attempted to complete as many sit ups they could after
completing an easy cognitive task and then again after a difficult cognitive
task. The results of experiment 1 demonstrated that the rowers completed fewer
press-ups after completing a difficult cognitive task than they did after
completing an easy task. Experiment 2 established that the competitive hockey
and rugby players completed fewer sit-ups after completing a difficult
cognitive task than they did after completing an easy cognitive task. The
conclusion of this study shows us that athletes’ exercise routines are effected
by ego depletion and that the strength model of self-regulation is applicable
to athletic performance.

         The
aim of this study is too see if self-control exertion effects wall-sit
performance time and perceptions of exercise related pain and motivation, the
hypothesis for this study is very similar to Boat & Taylor, 2017, both
hypothesis state that performance time in hard stroop task should be  lower
compared to performance time in the easy stroop task due to self-control, self-control
also effects pain, motivation and performance I expect to see higher motivation
and lower pain thresholds in the easy stroop task, previous research also
suggests that there will be a significant difference in perceptions of exercise
related pain, or motivation in the self-control and non-self-control
experimental conditions.

1.
Methods 

Our sample consisted
of 78 participants (59 male and 19 female (SD = 0 years) aged 18-20 years old
(M age = 19 years, SD = 1.05 years). The participants spent on average 3 to 5
days (SD= 0) per week exercising, and 64 of them said they had completed a wall
sit before. Following the approval from a university ethics committee, each
participant signed a consent form after the study was explained and their role
was clarified and that all results remain anonymous. Additionally, all of the
participants were declared healthy as they completed a university approved
general health questionnaire.
         The participants that volunteered took part in two experimental
sessions, these sessions were spaced out by approximately 14 days, in the
sessions the participants took part in the wall-sit task, beforehand they
completed one of the stroop tasks. One time they participated in the hard
stroop task which requires self-control, and on the other visit they completed
the easy stroop task which doesn’t. This study is a counterbalanced, within
subject design, with participants completing both trials. The study was also a double-blind
test meaning the participants knew what stroop task they were completing first
they were doing, furthermore the study was randomised. Before the participants
completed the sessions, they completed the health screening questionnaire and
provided their consent in written form. The participants were also told to
avoid strenuous physical activity as well as alcohol and caffeine on test days.
   The participants were also required to arrive at the laboratory 2
hours after they have eaten. When the participants arrived at the laboratory
the experimenters briefly explained the session, the participants then
completed the practice stroop task. Soon after, the participants completed the
wall-sit for 10 seconds to get the right form and positioning. Whilst the
participant was completing the wall sit they were not allowed to see the time
on the stopwatch, the experimenter was watching over to make sure the
participant did not miss any words out of the stroop task and another
experimenter timed 4 minutes. The hard stroop task consisted of words listed on
a piece of paper and the participant was required to read aloud the colour of
the ink and ignore the text of the word presented, furthermore if the
participant comes across a word in red ink they are to reverse the process and
say the text not the colour of the ink. In the non-self-control task,
participants are to say the word not the colour of the ink. The stroop task
that requires self-control is more challenging to the participant because they
have to override their primary answer of naming the word instead of the colour
(Englert & Wolff, 2015; McEwan et al., 2013.) Furthermore every 20 seconds
the experimenter had to measure pain and motivation using VAS (Visual analogue
scale). After the stroop task was completed the participant had to complete the
CR10 scale which measured perceived mental exertion, at the end of the wall sit
the time was recorded and the participant stretched off. The independent
variable for this experiment is the stroop task as this is the variable used to
manipulate the experiment as there is the hard stroop task and the easy stroop
task which will effect motivation levels and therefore performance, whereas the
dependent variable is wall sit performance time as it is measured throughout,
however there are many extraneous variables, from age, gender and fitness levels
as they are unique to the individual and all of these an effect the wall sit
performance and the pain and motivation. Data was analysed using IBM SPSS (v.
23). Differences in self-control exertion on wall-sit performance time and
perceptions of exercise related pain and motivation were analysed using a
paired samples t-tests. Statistical significance was accepted when p < 0.05" Results- The data package used was SPSS, this stands for "Statistical Package for the Social Sciences". It is used in Sport Sciences to analyse data obtained during research. Table 1 shows the means and the standard deviation of mental exertion, performance time, pain and motivation levels, it is evident that when participants completed the hard stroop task. An independent samples t-test showed that participants had a difference between wall-sit performance time in both the self-control and non-self-control conditions. t(77) = -3.12, p = .003), or ratings of pain (t(77) = 2.94, p = .004), but it revealed participants did not differ in motivation t(77) = -.76, p = .450). These were correlated with wall sit performance in either experimental condition. Table 1 shows descriptive statistics for each of the variables across each experimental condition, this table shows us that the hard stroop task had a higher mental exertion (6.05 ± 2.07), compared to the easy stroop (2.08 ± 1.97) Table 1 Mean ± SD mental exertion, wall sit performance time, pain levels at the end of the wall sit task and motivation levels at the beginning of the wall-sit task on the self-control and non-self-control stroop task.   An independent samples t-test showed a statistically significant difference between wall-sit performance time in both the self-control and non-self-control conditions. (t(77) = -3.12, p = .003), representing a small-sized effect (d = -0.15). Specifically, participants doing the easy stroop task in the wall sit had a longer performance time in comparison to those doing the hard stroop task. The easy stroop task values were (M = 214.33, SD = 134.84) compared to hard stroop task (M = 194.28, SD = 123.23). The difference in performance time is due to the participant using self-control in the hard stroop.  Figure 1: a graph to show standard deviations of performance time in relation to the hard and easy stroop task.   An independent samples t-test showed a statistically significant difference between pain at the end of the wall sit performance in both the self-control and non-self-control conditions. (t(77) = 2.94, p = .004), representing a small-sized effect (d = 0.35). Specifically, participants doing the easy stroop task in the wall sit had a lower perception of pain in the VAS compared to those doing the hard stroop task. The easy stroop values for pain were (M = 8.3, SD = 1.70) compared to the pain perception in the hard stroop task (M = 8.9, SD = 1.31). An independent samples t-test showed that there was not a statistically significant difference between motivation at the beginning of the wall sit performance in both the self-control and non-self-control situations. (t(77) = -.76, p = .450), representing a small-sized effect (d = -0.10). The easy stroop task values for motivation were (M = 6.1, SD = 2.96) compared to the pain perception in the hard stroop task (M = 5.9, SD = 2.67). The results from the Shapiro Wilko test show a significance of 0.00 therefore the results are significant as they are well below 0.05. Discussion-  The present study explored self-control exertion effects wall-sit performance time and perceptions of exercise related pain and motivation, parallel with the predictions made the participants quit the wall sit task faster when they had exerted self-control in the previous task in comparison to when they did not. This effect was also likely due to the participants perception of pain during restart of the wall sit. These findings provide evidence that pain may explain why the use of self-control interferes with performance on a physically demanding task. (Boat & Taylor, 2017) Therefore these results found in this study agree with the findings from Boat & Taylor, in summary, participants gave up quicker following a difficult cognitive task, compared to when they completed a simple cognitive task. The results provide yet more evidence that when participants are required to perform two consecutive acts of self- control. (Hagger et al., 2010). The biggest addition to our observation of the study is the conformation that the exertion of self-controlled to perception of pain increasing during the task, undoubtedly, the analysis demonstrated that perceptions of pain in the early stage of the wall sit explained a decline in performance results. These findings are parallel with the shifting priorities model of self- control (Inzlicht & Schmeichel, 2016).  Undeterred by important discoveries, there are some limitations. Beforehand and during the experiment there were many actions taken to eliminate bias, an example is that the experimenter read the instructions for all tasks from a pre-prepared text to reduce the errors and to stop the experimenter saying too much information in the instructions (Dorris et al., 2012). Nonetheless this does not rule out the possibility of the experimenter's bias changing the results of the study.  Additionally, the stroop tasks were not assessed meaning the participants could of deliberately got the stroop task wrong to stop their self-control declining and therefore having more control on the wall sit which this means there performance time will be better, future studies looking at self-control exertion could assess the stroop tasks as it would be a useful measure of depletion and gauging the participants levels of exertion. (Lee, Chatzisarantis, & Hagger, 2016).  Conjointly, the participants mood was not measure after the stroop task, Tice & Bratslavsky, 2000, stated that It could be argued that overriding a well-learned behaviour (i.e., reading the ink colour not the word) could be associated with negative emotional states (Tice & Bratslavsky, 2000). Thus, it is likely that differences in mood may have an effect on the results. Results may also be obscure or not accurate due to the fact that the 78 participants will have different pain tolerances meaning one person may feel pain a lot more compared to another one and therefore their performance time will be lower and the pain will be higher compared to another student whose performance time will be high and pain will be lower. With all of this being said, there are many strengths, one of the strengths of this study is that the experiment is a counterbalanced design meaning it controls the order effects in a repeated measures design, as the steps were repeated the order didn't change making it reliable in that sense, it is also a within person design making it more reliable as all the participants complete the hard and easy stroop task, it help reduces errors associated with individual differences. For future research, I would recommend doing another test instead of the wall-sit as it is not a very physically demanding task, instead I would use a Vo2 max text to see the effects of pain and motivation as this is more physically demanding, I would also record the results of the self-control task, by doing this you will be able to see if the participates are doing it properly and therefore they will be exerting self-control and thus the experiment will be more reliable. The participants that had higher levels of motivation performed better in the wall sit, whereas people with lower levels of motivation gave up easier and therefore their performance of the wall sit was less. When the participants completed the hard stroop task they recorded higher levels of pain and therefore stress compared to when the participants completed the easy stroop task as they were able to focus more on their performance rather than the stroop task. Furthermore, this study shows that self-control exertion will reduce performance and that the perception of pain can affect self-control exertion and therefore interfere with physically effortful tasks.