social comparison, an emphasis on external feedback and rewards, and a need to
demonstrate her superiority for motivation.
A study by Britton (1986) attempted to identify the nature and degree of
specific cognitive and affective attributes possessed by female Junior Elite gymnasts
compared to a similar age group of females in the normal population. At the time of
Britton’s research very few studies had focused on the psychological differences rather
than the physical differences of high level gymnasts. The results indicated that elite
gymnasts differ significantly in degree of specific cognitive attributes. The finding
demonstrated that these young gymnasts exhibited superior abilities in short-term visual
memory, psychomotor speed, visual-motor coordination, and the capacity to learn new
visual material quickly.
Reeds (1995) also examined gymnasts with the intent to predict performance
from selected personality traits and state anxiety levels. The purpose of the study was
to determine the relationship between selected personality traits, state (pre-competitive)
anxiety and performance in competitive gymnasts. A second purpose was to develop a
personality-anxiety-based model to predict performance among competitive gymnasts.
The study found that pre-competitive anxiety was not predictive of gymnastics
Collegiate gymnasts were the subjects in a study by Aronson (1982), that
attempted to identify attentional and interpersonal factors between elite and non-elite
gymnasts. Nideffer’s Test of Attentional and Interpersonal Style (TAIS; Nideffer,
1990) indicated a difference between the two groups, however, qualitative analysis of