Brief Online Training Enhances Competitive Performance: Findings of the BBC Lab UK Psychological Skills Intervention Study

A. M. Lane, P. Totterdell, I. MacDonald, T. J. Devonport, A. P. Friesen, C. J. Beedie, Damian Stanley, A. Nevill

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    32 Citations (Scopus)
    60 Downloads (Pure)


    In conjunction with BBC Lab UK, the present study developed 12 brief psychological skill interventions for online delivery. A protocol was designed that captured data via self-report measures, used video recordings to deliver interventions, involved a competitive concentration task against an individually matched computer opponent, and provided feedback on the effects of the interventions. Three psychological skills were used; imagery, self-talk, and if-then planning, with each skill directed to one of four different foci: outcome goal, process goal, instruction, or arousal-control. This resulted in 12 different intervention participant groups (randomly assigned) with a 13th group acting as a control. Participants (n = 44,742) completed a competitive task four times—practice, baseline, following an intervention, and again after repeating the intervention. Results revealed performance improved following practice with incremental effects for imagery-outcome, imagery-process, and self-talk-outcome and self-talk-process over the control group, with the same interventions increasing the intensity of effort invested, arousal and pleasant emotion. Arousal-control interventions associated with pleasant emotions, low arousal, and low effort invested in performance. Instructional interventions were not effective. Results offer support for the utility of online interventions in teaching psychological skills and suggest brief interventions that focus on increasing motivation, increased arousal, effort invested, and pleasant emotions were the most effective.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number413
    JournalFrontiers in Psychology
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2016

    Bibliographical note

    This Document is Protected by copyright and was first published by Frontiers. All rights reserved. it is reproduced with permission. It is under a Creative Common Attribution ("CC BY") licence (


    • intervention
    • emotion
    • mood
    • self-regulation
    • performance


    Dive into the research topics of 'Brief Online Training Enhances Competitive Performance: Findings of the BBC Lab UK Psychological Skills Intervention Study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this