Ironic effects of target shooting performance

It is known that performance under high pressure environments (e.g., Olympic Games) are demanding and potentially stressful. Expert athletes are vulnerable to anxiety, particularly when the stake is high. The link between anxiety and performance has been recognized in sport psychology research, using conscious processing theories, attentional control theory (ACT) and catastrophe models. Thus, much of the current literatures on the relationship between anxiety and performance pay particular attention to those mentioned theories. However, Wegner’s (1994) ironic process theory (IPT) has been given little attention in the anxiety-performance investigation


Formal title

An examination of ironic effects of target shooting performance under pressure in pistol shooters


I will examine the incidence of ironic errors in pistol target shooting performance under pressure (e.g., anxiety) conditions among Norwegian national pistol shooting team. In addition, I will investigate ironic effects of target shooting performance among high vs low-working memory capacity and high vs low neurotic shooters. I will examine further about the relationship between visual attentional control, working memory capacity, and neuroticism and their combined effects on ironic processes in shooting performance under pressure conditions.


Pistol shooters will carry out the experimental Stroop shooting task at the Sport Psychology lab and the actual pistol shooting task in the indoor shooting range (“Skytebane”) at NIH. We will use various technologies (e.g., eye-tracking glasses) and their associated software to measure psychological and physiological variables. Data will be collected quantitatively.