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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

performance.

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

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