Post-graduate Seminars

Sport Motivation

Self-Efficacy and Mental Skills Training in Shooters

Speaker : Ms. Emily Ortega
Date : 25 March 2015, Wednesday
Time : 2.00pm - 3.00pm
Venue: MERL (NIE5-03-02A)

Self-efficacy is widely known to be a good predictor of performance and this has shown to be true in the context of sports. An athlete’s physiological state is one of the sources of self-efficacy. Mental skills training and biofeedback training are practical strategies used by applied practitioners to help athletes learn the skills of self-regulation to attain peak performance under the pressure. For closed-skill sports like shooting, it is hypothesized that physiological state plays a critical role as it has a direct impact on the shooter’s self-efficacy and performance. This research comprises of three studies: the first study examines what mental skills shooters utilize and how their self-efficacy levels before a competition influence performance in competition. The second study analyses how physiological states, self-efficacy measures, and use of mental skills can influence performance outcomes in shooting. Finally, the third study examines the effectiveness of an integrated mental skills and biofeedback training program on self-efficacy and performance in shooting.

Barriers, Personality Traits, and Motivation, in Exercise Behaviour among Adults with Risk or Propensity of Type 2 Diabetes

Speaker : Ms. Kang Heon Jin
Date : 25 February 2015, Wednesday
Time : 2.00pm - 3.00pm
Venue: MERL (NIE5-03-02A)

Although regular physical activity (PA) has shown optimal outcomes for both prevention and management of type 2 diabetes (T2D), T2D individuals are less physically inactive than non-diabetic people. It is thus imperative to 1) identify perceived PA barriers, 2) create an optimal model on the theory-based constructs for developing an intervention program, and 3) develop an efficient PA intervention program for both prevention and management of T2D.
Based on these needs, three studies are proposed: The first study will focus on the investigation of PA barriers based on a systematic review. The second study will test the proposed model. The tested variables include personality traits, perceived PA barriers, motivation, and PA. Finally, the third study will implement a health communication intervention strategy using an interactive social media platform, based on the psychological needs satisfaction grounded in Self-Determination Theory.

Effectiveness of Social Media Intervention on Physical Activity Behaviour in the Postmodern Period: An Integration of Exercise Identity and Self-Determination

Speaker : Mr. Yong Tze Woon
Date : 4 February 2015, Wednesday
Time : 2.00pm - 3.00pm
Venue: MERL (NIE5-03-02A)

Rising obesity rates and its associated problems prompt the need to relook at the problem and the effectiveness of current physical activity interventions. Contemporary motivation research proposed that physical activity behaviour has shifted from intrinsic to extrinsic motivation. Concurrently, identity theorists also suggested a fundamental shift in human behaviour caused by technological changes in the society. Therefore, there is a need to look at physical activity behaviour interventions beyond current practices to integrate motivation theory and identity theory in the current time period which is described as postmodern period. The thesis aims to understand the influences of physical activity behaviour in the postmodern period to develop and validate an exercise identity scale. Thereafter, the thesis aims to determine the effectiveness of using modern social media technology such as Facebook in influencing physical activity behaviour.

Mediation of Personality Trait Influences on Exercise Behaviours Within The Protection Motivation Theory

Speaker : Ms. Kang Heon Jin
Date : 15 March 2013, Friday
Time : 2.00pm - 3.00pm
Venue: MERL (NIE5-03-02A)

Understanding Youth Sport Motivation: A Hierarchical Approach to Achievement Motivation

Speaker : Mr. Zason Chian
Date : 4 March 2013, Monday
Time : 3.00pm - 4.00pm
Venue: MERL (NIE5-03-02A)

Measurement of the Sports Talent Development Environment and Its Relationship with Athletes’ Self-Determined Motivation & Burnout

Speaker : Mr. Li Chunxiao
Date : 4 January 2013, Friday
Time : 2.00pm - 3.30pm
Venue: MERL (NIE5-03-02A)

How Can We Enhance the Quality and Interpretation of Psychological Research Findings?

Speaker : Assistant Prof. Masato Kawabata
Date : 23 November 2012, Friday
Time : 2.00pm - 4.00pm
Venue: MERL (NIE5-03-02A)

Although psychology is referred to the science of behavior, indirect measures of behavior are popular in some psychological sub-disciplines (Baumeister, Vohs, & Funder, 2007). Sport and exercise and psychology is one of the sub-disciplines and researchers in sport and exercise psychology considerably rely on self-report measures (Hagger & Chatzisarantis, 2009). Nonetheless, researchers often fail to sufficiently examine the reliability and validity of their instruments, assuming that previous validity tests conducted by other researchers are adequate to justify using the measures in their research context. Unfortunately, such an assumption may lead to erroneous conclusions (Hagger & Chatzisarantis, 2009). In this presentation, validity issues of self-report measures will be discussed, introducing examples from the studies of the Sport Motivation Scale-6 and the flow scales.

Achievement Motivation in Sports: Goals, Beliefs and Outcomes (Thesis Proposal)

Speaker : Ms. Lilian Chua
Date : 6 May 2010, Thursday
Time : 3.00pm - 4.30pm
Venue: PESS Journal Room (NIE5-03-04)

Physical Education Behavioral Regulations

Speaker : Ms. Coral Lim
Date : 5 May 2010, Wednesday
Time : 3.00pm - 3.45pm
Venue: PESS Journal Room (NIE5-03-04)

One of the primary functions of contemporary physical education (PE) is to prepare students for a lifetime of physical activity (PA: Sallis and McKenzie, 1991). Thus, an important outcome of the teaching-learning process of PE is a physically active student who also demonstrates the intention to be active outside of the school context and/or after graduation (Hein, Müür, & Koka, 2004). The different types of behavioral regulations central to self-determination theory reflect qualitatively different reasons for a chosen behaviour. Clearly, moving towards autonomous forms of behavioural regulation is advisable for higher levels of intention and sustained adherence in PA, since they are likely to involve stronger feelings of personal investment, autonomy and self-identification. The purpose of this study is to examine the PE behavioral regulations of students and using cluster analysis, determine clusters of students with distinctive motivational profiles. With a better insight into the motivational profiles of the students, PE teachers can design better interventions and/or adopt more effective strategies in achieving the outcome of physically active students for life.

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Psychological Theories of Motivation

How Sedentary Habits May Be Broken With Mindfulness and Implementation Intention

Speaker : Mr. Chong Yek Wei
Date : 7 April 2015, Tuesday
Time : 3.00pm - 4.00pm
Venue: MERL (NIE5-03-02A)

There is growing number of evidence showing the various health risks associated with high level of sedentary even after accounting for the protective effect of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Office workers are particularly at-risk for the health consequences associated with prolonged period of sedentary time. Staying sedentary can be understood as a habit. The more a particular habitual behaviour is repeated, the more it will be reinforced and get repeated in the future. As such, to weaken the sedentary habit, more breaks with light-intensity physical activity should be promoted. To this end, mindfulness may be a useful tool. Mindfulness has been shown to be effective in dealing with various maladaptive habits. Brief mindfulness induction also seems to be effective in addressing general habits. However, a workplace mindfulness intervention study had failed to find significant improvement in reducing sedentary behaviour. As such, the present study supplements mindfulness with implementation intention. The present study aims to investigate the effectiveness of the combination intervention on sedentary habit.


Prediction of Fruit and Vegetable Intake: The Importance of Contextualizing Motivation

Speaker : Ms. Rachel Evans
Date : 21 May 2014, Wednesday
Time : 2.00pm - 3.00pm
Venue: MERL (NIE5-03-02A)

Poor diet has been identified as a major contributor to the growing burden of chronic disease in the UK. Conversely, the consumption of fruit and vegetables has considerable health benefits, for example, reducing the risk of cancer and obesity. Increasing fruit and vegetable intake in student groups, who commonly fail to meet recommended daily intake, may significantly improve population health if desirable dietary choices persist into adulthood. However, the development of behaviour-change interventions rests on the accurate identification of mechanisms of change (i.e. the factors that predict behaviour). Psychological theory suggests that motivational (e.g. intention) and volitional processes (e.g. planning) direct self-regulated behaviour, and thus, may be targeted in interventions to promote healthy eating. However, traditional measures of intention are poor predictors of behaviour and interventions to increase intentions to eat fruit and vegetables are often unsuccessful in producing sustained behaviour change. This indicates that a more accurate and comprehensive measure of the motivational domain is required. For my Health Psychology MSc project I explored the properties of behavioural resolve (a newly identified measure of motivation; Rhodes & Horne, 2013), in relation to intention (a traditional measure of motivation), planning (a volitional factor), and fruit and vegetable intake behaviour.


How Group Esteem Affects Out-group Trust

Speaker : Ms. Clare Sim
Date : 26 February 2014, Wednesday
Time : 2.00pm - 3.00pm
Venue: MERL (NIE5-03-02A)

Social comparison is pervasive in our daily lives, when we compare ourselves to other people and make judgments about how we fare relative to them in various domains. Just as how each of us have varying levels of self-esteem as individuals, we too have group esteem, or opinions about how the groups we belong to (also called in-groups) compare with other groups in specific domains. Social Identity Theory by Tajfel & Turner (1976) suggests that we have a desire to differentiate our in-group from out-groups in a positive way, especially in domains valued by the in-group. As an example, sport is perceived to be important to the Physical Education and Sports Sciences (PESS) department, so members of PESS are expected to have a stronger desire to outperform other departments in a captain’s ball tournament. Group esteem may be related to our behaviours toward out-groups. For my honours thesis, I investigated the possibility that feeling inferior to out-groups in a particular valued domain may be related to reduced trust towards the out-group in other domains, and how the quality and quantity of contact we have with the out-group may influence this relationship.


Approach Minus Avoidance Goals: A Promising New Twist based on an Old Idea

Speaker : Prof. Marc Lochbaum, Texas Tech University
Date : 5 September 2013, Thursday
Time : 3.00pm - 4.00pm
Venue: PESS Journal Room (NIE5-03-04)

Approach-avoidance achievement goals are based on a number of achievement motive theories developed since the 1930's. Approach-avoidance achievement goals have been investigated for over a decade in sport and exercise contexts. While the individual achievement goals have shown promise, some researchers have demonstrated, especially for the performance goals, that the contrast score (i.e., performance approach minus performance avoidance) is more preferable. This presentation will greatly expand upon these initial studies to demonstrate the importance of this promising new twist, goal contrasts, on an old idea. The mastery goal contrast results that will be presented are brand new to the literature. The presentation will include approach-avoidance achievement goal data from (1) a meta-analysis with the approach-avoidance goals and sport performance; (2) a large scale, multi-round golf putting tournament that seems to be very unique to the sport psychology literature; and (3) self-reported physical activity pursuits.


Causality Orientation, Autonomy-support, and Self-control: Effects on Basic Psychological Needs Satisfaction and Ego-Depletion

Speaker : Ms. Coral Lim
Date : 19 February 2013, Tuesday
Time : 2.30pm - 4.00pm
Venue: MERL (NIE5-03-02A)

Safety, non-fulfillment, and academic resilience: Strategic prevention and promotion goal-setting in the Singapore academic context

Speaker : Ms. Tan Ser Hong
Date : 7 December 2012, Friday
Time : 2.00pm - 4.00pm
Venue: MERL (NIE5-03-02A)

Regulatory focus theory proposes two goal systems, namely promotion focus which is concerned with positive end-states, and prevention focus which is concerned with negative end-states, in directing motivated activities (Higgins, 1997). Using experience-sampling methodology, this study investigated the consequences of promotion and prevention regulatory foci on cumulative academic resilience. Seventy-five Singapore students completed multiple measures for regulatory focus (Summerville & Roese, 2008; Lockwood, Jordan, & Kundra, 2002), perceived stress (Cohen, Kamarck, & Mermelstein, 1983), and academic resilience (Martin & Marsh, 2006) during a four-week period leading up to examinations. Analyses showed that regulatory styles measured at four weeks prior to academic examinations predicted students’ average perceived stress levels and academic resilience scores aggregated across the entire four-week period. Specifically, prevention-based regulatory styles that framed outcomes as the absence of negative end-states resulted in lower perceived stress, which in turn, predicted higher academic resilience. On the other hand, promotion-based regulatory styles that framed outcomes in terms of the nonattainment of positive end-states led to higher perceived stress, which in turn contributed towards lower academic resilience. Our findings are contrary to previous studies conducted in North American (c.f. Higgins, 1997) where prevention styles have been related to maladaptive outcomes. We will discuss a proposal that prevention styles may be more compatible goal-setting strategy in the Singapore cultural and academic context. Implications for the relationship between regulatory focus, culture, and academic resilience will be discussed, especially taking into account Singapore’s strong emphasis on academic achievement.

Effects of Test Anxiety on Working Memory and Mathematical Performance

Speaker : Ms. Ng Ee Lynn
Date : 25 September 2012, Friday
Time : 3.00pm - 5.00pm
Venue: MERL (NIE5-03-02A)

This thesis investigated the interaction between cognition and emotion by examining the influence of test anxiety on 11-year-olds’ performance on working-memory-dependent tasks. The negative correlational relationship between test anxiety and task performance is well-established in the research literature. However, the mechanisms underlying this relationship, particularly in a child population, are not well-researched. Using the processing efficiency theory (PET) as my theoretical framework, I conducted a series of experiments to examine whether the negative effects of test anxiety on task performance are due to a temporary reduction in working memory resources. Overall, the results suggest that the PET may not be fully applicable to children. These findings will be discussed in terms of their implications for the PET framework and potential targets for intervention among test-anxious children.

Autonomy Support in Education: Fostering Intrinsic Motivation and Learning in School

Speaker : Ms. Betsy Ng
Date : 3 September 2012, Monday
Time : 3.00pm - 4.30pm
Venue: PESS Journal Room (NIE5-03-04)

Students may perform well for many reasons, not solely out of interest in the task at hand. The environment can support or thwart the individual’s engagement in learning. The research study will investigate the direction of an individual’s behaviour towards learning and motivation. It will also examine a student's self-regulation process to understand what the student needs to become autonomous in learning.

Enhancing Student Motivation & Well-Being: A Self Determination Perspective

Speaker : Prof. Richard Ryan
Date : 5 April 2012, Thursday
Time : 6.00pm - 7.30pm
Venue: Lecture Theatre 3

Drawing from his vast experience as a clinical psychologist and researcher, Prof Ryan talks about how the tenets of the Self-determination theory can be applied to the classroom context to motivate students. Citing examples that are at times humorous and at times poignant, he illustrates the importance of catering to students’ basic psychological needs to ensure that they blossom as well-adjusted individuals.
Download the presentation slides here.

Know Thyself: Misperceptions of Actual Performance, Undermine Achievement Motivation, Future Performnce, and Subjective Well-Being.

Speaker : Prof. Chiu Chi-Yue
Date : 23 September 2011, Friday
Time : 2.00pm - 4.00pm
Venue: PS Journal Room (NIE2-03-111)

Contary to the popular assumption that self-enhancement improves task motivation and future performance, I propose that both inflated and deflated self-assessments of performance are linked to an increased likelihood of practicing self-handicapping and having relatively poor performance in future tasks. Consistent with this proposal, I found that irrespective of the level of actual performance, compared with accurate self-assessment, both inflated and deflated self-assessments of task performance are associated with a greater tendency to (a) practice self-handicapping, (b) perform relatively poorly in a subsequent task, (c) have relatively low academic achievement, and (d) report a relatively low level of subjective well-being and higher levels of emotional vulnerability. I will discuss these results in terms of their educational implications.

Students’ Moral Development, Motivation in Moral Education, and Prosocial Behavior

Speaker : Prof. Caroline Koh
Date : 22 October 2010, Friday
Time : 3.00pm - 4.00pm
Venue: PESS Journal Room (NIE5-03-04)

Major global crises have rekindled an interest in the development of morality and the nurturing of universal values. In the past, research on moral functioning has originated predominantly from Western contexts, although contributions from other parts of the world have accrued in recent years. This study aims to add to the Asian perspective on the existing models. It combines a Kohlbergian approach for the assessment of moral judgment, with a framework based on the Self-Determination Theory to assess the motivational regulations of Singaporean students.  The findings show that the development of moral reasoning of the Singaporean students follows the trend prescribed for their age group in Kohlberg’s theory.  As regards to their motivation in Civics and Moral Education (CME) and prosocial behaviour, students showed a moderate degree of autonomous motivation. There were low correlations between moral development stage and motivation in CME, but no correlation was observed between motivation in prosocial self-regulation and moral development stage.

Students’ Motivational and Self-Regulated Learning Profiles and Academic Performance

Speaker : A/P John Wang
Date : 24 September 2010, Friday
Time : 3.00pm - 4.00pm
Venue: PESS Journal Room (NIE5-03-04)

The purpose is to present a recent collaborative study undertaken with a junior college which examined students’ profiles in motivation and self-regulated learning in relation to academic performance. A total of 239 junior college students from 12 intact tutorial groups took part in the study. Students’ motivated strategies for learning, self-regulation, need satisfaction, achievement goals, enjoyment and effort were measured two months before their block tests. Five distinct clusters of students were identified based on their motivated strategies for learning. The results of the hierarchical regressions showed that autonomy-supportive climate, need satisfaction, and mastery-approach goal were strong predictors of motivated strategies for learning. Furthermore, motivated strategies for learning predicted a significant amount of variance in the test scores. The results provide ecologically valid empirical evidence for the importance of Motivated Strategies for Learning in academic performance. We conclude that students need to have the “will” and “skill” to be successful in classrooms; and teachers need to provide classroom environment to cultivate the “will” and “skill” by satisfying the three basic psychological needs (competence, autonomy, and relatedness).

Higher enjoyment among mindful learners in a self-controlled motor learning task

Speaker : Dr. Adrian Kee
Date : 5 May 2010, Wednesday
Time : 3.45pm - 4.30pm
Venue: PESS Journal Room (NIE5-03-04)

Intrinsic motivation in learning has always been an important issue for educationalists. This study examined whether learners of varying dispositional mindfulness would report differing enjoyment as they learn a novel motor task – the rollerball task. All 32 participants were given autonomy to regulate their task difficulty from trial to trial during the learning task over a five day period. Differences in enjoyment between the more and less mindful learners were observed.

Optimum Motivation: The Key Issue to Achieve Quality and Equality in Education

Speaker : A/P Nie Youyan
Date : 22 April 2010, Thursday
Time : 3.00pm - 4.30pm
Venue: PESS Journal Room (NIE5-03-04)

Everyone should have the chance to achieve the best that is possible for them. How to create a motivating environment for students and teachers to help them fulfill their potential and achieve their best? In this session, I will review the theoretical development on achievement goal theory and present a number of empirical studies conducted in Singaporean context.

Sense of Competence: Does it Matter?

Speaker : A/P Alex Yeung
Date : 12 March 2010, Thursday
Time : 3.00pm - 4.30pm
Venue: PESS Journal Room (NIE5-03-04)

The role of a sense of competence in academic environments is often taken seriously by most researchers and practitioners. Students’ academic self-concept, for example, is known to influence academic outcomes including desirable learning behaviours and academic achievement. Hence the answer to the question: “Does it matter?” seems to be a simple “Yes”. In this session, I will share my recent research on the associations of sense of competence with achievement, academic outcomes, and other psychological variables and illustrate that this simple positive answer can be challenged.

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Research Methodologies

Hierarchical Linear Modelling

Speaker : Assistant Professor Nie Youyan
Date : 12 August 2015, Wednesday
Time : 2 - 4 pm
Venue: Psychological Studies Journal Room (NIE2-03-111)

In educational research fields, research data often have a hierarchical structure, such as students arranged in groups (e.g. classes, schools). Hierarchical linear models (HLM, also called multilevel models) have been developed to allow for multi-level research. In this workshop, the basic HLM models and examples in educational research will be introduced. This hands-on session will also demonstrate how to use HLM software to perform the analysis.

Getting Started with R

Speaker : Assistant Professor Kee Ying Hwa Adrian
Date : 22 April 2015, Wednesday
Time : 2 - 4 pm
Venue: MERL (NIE5-03-02A)

R as a statistical tool is powerful and flexible for data manipulation and analyses. It is increasingly preferred for many researchers for its versatility. R allows for greater control over the statistical program and equations through writing and coding. However, it may seem daunting to new users due to the coding involved and the requirements for data presentation. Professor Kee will show how to get started with extracting and compiling information from multiple raw csv files. As well as using R to run statistics.


Application of Data Mining Techniques in Analyzing E-Learning Data

Speaker : Dr. Zhou Ming Ming
Date : 15 February 2013, Friday
Time : 2.00pm - 4.00pm
Venue: MERL (NIE5-03-02A)

In this talk I will provide an up-to-date snapshot of the current state of research and applications of data mining methods in e-learning. The cross-fertilization of both areas is still in its infancy, and even academic references are scarce on the ground, although some leading education-related publications are already beginning to pay attention to this new field.  In order to offer a reasonable account of this research area, I will first provide a taxonomy of e-learning problems to which data mining techniques have been applied. This will be followed by the report of my latest research on how university students solve information-based problems and how this process is associated with their goal and emotional profiles, using sequential data mining algorithms. Finally, the talk will be ended with in-depth discussions about this issue from the points of view of data mining practitioners, academic researchers and educational practitioners.


How to do a Systematic Review: An Introduction

Speaker : Mr. Li Chunxiao
Date : 28 September 2012, Friday
Time : 2.00pm - 4.00pm
Venue: MERL (NIE5-03-02A)

In this presentation, I will firstly introduce “what” is a systematic review and “why” do it. I will then introduce a general procedure to conduct a systematic review and even a meta-analysis can be done. Finally, I would like to share some personal experiences on preparing and submitting manuscripts concerning a systematic review.

Introduction to ANOVA & MANOVA

Speaker : A/P John Wang
Date : 9 April 2010, Friday
Time : 3.30pm - 4.30pm
Venue: PESS Journal Room (NIE5-03-04)

Factor Analysis: From Exploratory to Confirmatory

Speaker : A/P John Wang
Date : 24 March 2010, Wednesday
Time : 3.00pm - 4.30pm
Venue: PESS Journal Room (NIE5-03-04)

Introduction to Cluster Analysis

Speaker : A/P John Wang
Date : 3 March 2010, Wednesday
Time : 3.00pm - 4.30pm
Venue: PESS Journal Room (NIE5-03-04)

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Technologies in Research

Useful Programs and Functions for Research

Speaker : Ms. Jayalakshmy Aarthi Anathanarayanan
Date : 30 April 2014, Wednesday
Time : 2.00pm - 3.00pm
Venue: MERL (NIE5-03-02A)