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Shared Mental Models (SMM) is a dynamic team-related cognitive process that governs team coordination when communication is limited or absent. In team sports, where overt communication is limited, and many actions are reactive in nature, the importance of SMM is prominent. This notion is even more salient under pressure. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop and validate a SMM measure in team sports. At the onset of the validation process, items were generated based on an a priori model which emerged from a separate qualitative inquiry with elite coaches. Following two experts' examination of the relatedness of the items' content to SMM, the Shared Mental Models in Team Sports Questionnaire (SMMTSQ) was administrated to 372 Israeli student-athletes from seven interactive team sports (e.g., soccer, basketball, and volleyball). To validate the structure of the SMMTSQ model, a CFA procedure was employed. Reliability of the SMMTSQ and it scales was estimated using stratified alpha coefficient. In addition, Test-retest reliability was calculated using a subset of 118 student-athletes. Concurrent and predictive validity were examined using team cohesion and perceived performance questionnaires respectively. The results of this study validated the SMMTSQ as a shared cognitions measure. Following its content approval and data collection, the SMMTSQ demonstrated a good fit to the data. Furthermore, stratified alpha coefficients were greater than .90 for all the scales and for the measure as a whole. Test-retest reliability was .86 supporting its stability over 10 days on average. Moderately high correlations with the team cohesion and perceived performance questionnaires supported the concurrent and predictive validity of the SMMTSQ. Overall, the SMMTSQ emerged to be a good instrument for measuring shared cognitions in team sports. Through providing vital information pertaining to areas in which cognitions are shared or unshared in a team, intervention programs can be tailored. Future research may explore the suitability of the SMMTSQ to capture SMM across skill levels and cultures.
Shared cognitions, Shared knowledge, Shared mental models, Team coordination
Date of Defense
February 23, 2012.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Gershon Tenenbaum, Professor Directing Dissertation; David Eccles, Professor Directing Dissertation; Michael Mondello, University Representative; Yanyun Yang, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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