Measuring Automaticity

Measuring Automaticity

Measuring Psychological Automaticity: The Development of a Questionnaire to Assess the Optimal Psychological State for Peak Performance

Ruth Anderson, Stephanie J. Hanrahan

The optimal psychological state required for peak performances has been identified as an automatic state (Park et al., 2015); however, no questionaries currently exist to measure automaticity. The purpose of this study was to develop a measure of psychological automaticity for use with athletes in competition. Athletes (N = 172) completed the original 50-item psychological automaticity scale at a competition performance, along with measures of state anxiety, competition automaticity, and self-efficacy. One hundred and eleven participants completed the 50-item psychological automaticity scale at a second competition performance. Exploratory factor analysis reduced the scale to 30 items, comprising five subscales. The psychometric properties of the Psychological Automaticity Questionnaire (PAQ) were demonstrated with strong validity and internal reliability, however, test-retest reliability was not substantiated. The final version of the PAQ is a 30-item scale that measures automaticity in competition and contains the subscales of automatic execution, self regulation, control, trust, and self awareness. Further research is recommended to confirm the psychometric properties of the PAQ by the use of confirmatory factor analysis on an independent sample and investigate the most effective strategies that will facilitate the automatic state required for peak performance.