On the relativistic nature of predicted and real physical experiences: A field experiment

Malgorzata Slawinska, Athanasios Papaioannou, Nikos Chatzisarantis, Antonis Hatzigeorgiadis, Paul Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives - An important yet unresolved question stemming from judgment and decision-making literature is whether individuals evaluate physical experiences in relative or absolute terms. Design and method - The study examined 181 experienced basketball players in a 2 (type of experience: predicted versus real) × 2 (evaluation mode: separate versus joint) × 2 (type of activity: running versus shooting) experimental research design. Results - We demonstrated that individuals who were familiar with physical tasks evaluated predicted and real physical experiences in absolute terms. In addition, we showed that relativistic modes of evaluation applied to real physical experiences but not predicted physical experiences. Conclusions - This research contributes to the debate concerning whether prior task experience influences formation of relative evaluations, and reveals that contexts that urge for relative evaluations undermine happiness with physical tasks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-111
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Issue number3
Early online date16 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


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