Motivation research in the field of sport and exercise

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Motivation research in the field of sport and exercise psychology

A bibliometric study of research themes and information flow between 1985 and 2009

Jonas Lindahl

Sociologiska institutionen Magisteruppsats i Biblioteks- och informationsvetenskap, 15 hp Ht 2012

Acknowledgements I would like to thank my advisor, PhD Cristian Colliander, for a thorough and engaging job; PhD Andreas Stenling for the collaboration and a job well done; and Professor Olle Persson for some valuable remarks and advices in an early stage of the project.

Abstract Objectives: The objectives of this bibliometric study was to provide an overview of the intellectual structure of motivation research in the field of sport and exercise psychology (SEP), and to show how the intellectual structure of the field has changed over time. A secondary purpose was to explore the potential of longitudinal citation based science mapping within SEP, and further, in the sub-area of motivation research in SEP. Research questions: (1) How did the intellectual structure of motivation research within the field of SEP evolve between 1985 and 2009 with respect to research themes and topics? (2) How did the flow of information, in terms of citations, between sub areas take shape within motivation research in SEP between 1985 and 2009? Data: 739 articles published between 1985 and 2009 were used in this study. Field delineation and data collection was conducted with a multi-database approach based on controlled vocabulary. The dataset was furthermore expanded by citation-based extension. Methods: A cluster analysis was performed on the retrieved articles based on normalized bibliographic coupling (i.e., based on shared references topically similar articles was placed in mutually exclusive groups). The cluster analysis resulted in 19 clusters that were classified by a subject expert from the field of SEP. Further, the labeled clusters were visualized as research fronts along timelines subdivided into timeslices ? 1985-1994; 1995-1999; 20002004; 2005-2009 ? showing the growth and decline of research topics within motivation research in SEP. Direct citations between the research fronts was extracted and visualized in order to explore information flow. Results: Some main findings were: (1) timeslice 1985-1994 consisted of a dispersed collection of research fronts. No dominating research theme or theoretical framework could be discerned in this period; (2) the timeslices of 1995-1999 and 2000-2004 was dominated by achievement goals oriented research; (3) during timeslice 2004-2009 self-determination theory oriented research underwent a drastic growth. This timeslice was dominated by achievement goals oriented research and self-determination theory oriented research. In the direct citation network highly influential research fronts (i.e., influential research themes) could be identified. The top five with respect to received direct citations was: (1) Task-ego achievement goals 1; (2) Task-ego achievement goals 2; (3) Self-determination theory 1; (4) Motivational climate; (5) Percieved competence and motivation among children and youth.

Table of contents

1. Introduction

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1.1 Objectives and research questions

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2. Motivation research in sport and exercise psychology

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2.1 A brief review of the literature

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2.2 Definitions

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3. Theoretical framework

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3.1 Bibliometrics and science mapping: definitions, contexts and terminology

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3.2 Formal scientific communication

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3.3 Citation analysis, citation databases and motivation research in sport and exercise

psychology: possibilities and limitations

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3.4 Citation theory

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3.5 Timeline visualization of research specialties

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4. Methods

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4.1 Basic concepts

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4.1.1 Field delineation and data collection

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4.1.2 Bibliographic coupling

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4.1.3 Cluster analysis

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4.1.3.1 Determining k clusters

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4.2 Procedure

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4.2.1 Retrieving a core set of articles

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4.2.2 Citation-based extension

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4.2.3 Identifying research fronts

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4.2.3.1 Choosing k clusters

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4.2.4 Visualizing the development of motivation research in sport and exercise psychology 31

4.2.4.1 Timeline visualization I: Publications and research front topics

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4.2.4.2 Timeline visualization II: Direct citation network

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5. Results and discussion

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5.1 Timeline visualization I: Publications and research topics

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5.1.1 Keyword network: Identifying sub-themes

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5.2 Timeline visualization II: Direct citation network

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5.3 The research fronts of motivation research within sport and exercise psychology

between 1985 and 2009

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6. Conclusions

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7. Reference list

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1. Introduction In this quantitative research review, bibliometric methods was used to map the intellectual structure of motivation research conducted in the field of sport and exercise psychology (SEP) between 1985 and 2009. The time frame of this study ? 1985-2009 ? was dynamically subdivided into one ten-year period, 1985-94, and three five-year periods, 1995-1999, 20002004, 2005-2009, in order to address the longitudinal perspective.

In two earlier studies, Lindahl (2011) and Lindahl, Stenling, Lindwall, and Colliander (2012), where different aspects of the intellectual structure of SEP was examined between 2008 and 2011, the results showed that motivation research was the largest sub-area within the field.

1.1 Objectives and research questions The objective of this study was to provide an overview of the intellectual structure (i.e., research themes and topics) of motivation research in SEP, and to show how the intellectual structure of the sub-field has changed over time. To be more specific, with the longitudinal perspective two aspects of motivation research within SEP was investigated: (1) the growth and decline of identified sub areas, and (2) the flow of information between these sub areas (i.e., influential sub areas in terms of the contribution of useful knowledge, and in which sub areas this knowledge is used). For these purposes the following research questions was articulated:

How did the intellectual structure of motivation research within the field of SEP evolve between 1985 and 2009 with respect to research themes and topics?

How did the flow of information, in terms of citations, between sub areas take shape within motivation research in SEP between 1985 and 2009?

Due to the lack of similar studies regarding methodology and object of analysis, the longitudinal aspect of motivation research in SEP was in this study viewed as a secondary explorative purpose, involving the examination of possibilities and limitations of longitudinal citation based science mapping studies in the specific sub-area of motivation research in SEP field of SEP, and furthermore, within the field of SEP.

2. Motivation research in sport and exercise psychology The object of analysis in this study was motivation research within the field of SEP. This section consists of two parts. In the first part a brief review of earlier research reviews

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concerning motivation research in SEP is conducted. In the second part the definitions of the field of SEP and motivation research within SEP is presented.

2.1 A brief review of the literature During the 1970s and 1980s sport and exercise psychology research develops into an academic sub-discipline within psychology in its own right with the start of a number of core journals (see Table 2, page 21). The systematic study of motivation in a sport and exercise psychology context has been pursued since 1970s (Roberts, 1992, p. v). According to Mayer, Faber, and Xu (2007), who reviews the literature on motivation measures between 1930 and 2005, motivation measures in the context of SEP starts developing during the 1980s.

Even though no former research reviews similar to this study ? with respect to aim and methodology ? could be found, some research reviews, and review sections within empirical articles and textbooks, relevant for the scope and timeframe of this study could be identified. Most of the former reviews and relevant literature consist of (1) review articles with a broad scope, covering the field of SEP or motivation research within SEP (e.g., Biddle, 1997; Biddle, 1999; Chatzisarantis, Hagger, Biddle, Smith, & Wang, 2003); (2) reviews of specific sub topics within the context of motivation in SEP (e.g., Martin, Moritz, & Hall, 1999; Ntoumanis & Biddle, 1999; Vallerand & Losier, 1999); and (3) textbooks reviewing the development of research themes associated with, or within the context, of motivation research in SEP (e.g., Hagger & Chatzisarantis, 2007; Roberts, 1992; Roberts & Treasure, 2012). The majority of these reviews consist of qualitative content analysis.

Some outlines could be identified by studying the review literature concerning the development of motivation research in SEP. There seem to be an agreement in the literature that from the 1970s the cognitive paradigm has been important to the study of motivation within the field of SEP. In the context of SEP the cognitive paradigm consists of number of theories where it is assumed that "behavioral variance in sport and exercise is [...] captured by models that incorporate the cognitions and beliefs of individuals; in other words, the cognitions and beliefs of individuals mediate their behavior" (Roberts, 1992, p. 8). Roberts (1992, p. 8-15) outlined the theoretical frameworks of attribution theory; theory of selfefficacy; motivation theories revolving around perceived competence; and achievement goals approaches, as the dominating theories and approaches at the time. According to Biddle (1999), achievement goals orientations was "the `hot topic' of sport psychology in the late 1990s, [and] attribution theory was certainly the equivalent in the 1980s" (Biddle, 1999, p. 7). Furthermore, Biddle predicts self-determination theory as the leading framework in the future

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