PhD, Associate Professor N.V. Lutkova1
Dr. Hab., Professor Y.M. Makarov1
PhD, Associate Professor J.N. Nikolaenko2
1Lesgaft National State University of Physical Education, Sport and Health, St. Petersburg
2Elsis Multisectoral LLC, St. Petersburg
Keywords: game aggression, skilled athletes, game aggression rating model, questionnaire survey, vibration imaging technology.
Background. Game aggression is interpreted herein as the controlled aggression in sports geared to secure a strategic advantage in competitions in the critical game intervals and matches on the whole .
Psychologists usually recommend for the personality aggressiveness and mental aggression manifestation rating purposes a variety of traditional mental state test methods including the Bass-Darki Test; Spielberger Aggression and Aggressiveness Express Test; and individual interviews. These tests, however, are time-intensive in terms of the design, management, input data production and data processing provisions. There are also fast non-contact psycho-physiological test methods including vibration imaging technology among the most promising ones that yield real-time psycho-physiological state rating data with fast analyses.
Objective of the study was to develop and test benefits of a vibration imaging technology based game aggression rating model in application to skilled athletes.
Methods and structure of the study. Sampled for the study were the 19-20 year old Class I athletes (n=20) specialized in different team sports at the Lesgaft National State University’s Team Sports Theory and Practice Department. The game aggression of the sample was rated by a computerized VibroSport system of our design using the vibration imaging technology based game aggression rating model with application of the adapted version of PsyAccent  software [2, 6]. The software uses the following set of the individual game aggression rating criteria: legal, physical, game-specific, adaptive, strategic and tactical ones. These game aggression criteria were factored in a questionnaire including 12 questions and images demonstrated to the subjects on a screen with the questions to rate the individual game aggression -specific response with account of the current psycho-physiological state. The responses were classified by the following core motivational aspects:
– Legal: (1) I knowingly violate the rules to achieve the goal; (2) I never violate the rules even when necessary;
- Physical: (1) I like pressure and physical encounters in matches; (2) I prefer to avoid using power on the verge of violations;
- Game-specific: (1) all means are good to win the initiative; (2) I never violate the rules even for the sake of superiority;
- Adaptive: (1) my game at home is the same as on the opponent’s court; (2) at time I feel uncomfortable in an unknown environment;
- Strategic: (1) I may resort to tough game and unsportsmanlike behavior to win; (2) I always stick to the fair play whatever is the game situation; and
- Tactical: (1) I may use some tricks when necessary; (2) I think it is better to decently lose than violate the rules.
The game aggression rates generated by the tests may be analyzed versus the individual game performances . The questionnaire was designed on a choice-under-pressure basis with the subject expected to respond to simulated game situations as soon as possible. Responses will be given to 6 pairs of questions with situational images. Tests of every game aggression criterion imply YES response to the first question of each couple, and NO to the second. The choice-under-pressure tests are close to the classical lie detection albeit still different in many aspects. Such a linear-opposition test design is less comfortable for the respondent than standard psychological tests, since implies a modeled situation of forced choice of one of the opposite and exclusive decisions. Such game aggression tests are known to produce more accurate test data than the direct aggression probing questions in the traditional psychological methods [3, 7].
Results and discussion. The 12-question tests were designed to prevent fatigue of the subjects, with the both testing procedure and test data interpretation being fully automated. The vibration imaging technology makes it possible to find multidimensional correlations of the psycho-physiological state rates and fixe every variation in the energy and the direction of this change. Every change in the individual energy cost/ release in transition from one energy state to another is rated in kcal/ min. . The psycho-physiological test method using the computerized VibroSport test system gives the means to do without specific narrow tests and specialists. The modern computerized test method is based on the classical principles of psychophysiology. The vibration imaging technology based game aggression rating model was tested on a sample of skilled athletes, with the test data given hereunder on Figure 1.
.Figure 1. Game aggression test rates of the sample
The game aggression test data analysis made it possible to rank the game aggression criteria of the sample as follows: adaptive, tactical, strategic, legal, game-specific and physical criteria. The first three are indicative of the subjects’ readiness to vent their game aggression for the strategic and tactical purposes, and to a lesser extent in form of physical aggression and violations of the rules.
Given on Figure 2 is the distribution of respondents' informed answers (yes/ no answers or uncertain options in the 12-question test) classified by the game aggression criteria.
Figure 2. Distribution of the game aggression test rates
The game aggression test data analysis showed the sample acknowledging the role of conscious positive fitness for every game situation, with the adaptive game aggression criterion having the highest rate of 60%. The test data may be further clarified and distinguished by the psycho-physiological response analysis: see Figure 3.
Figure 3. Psycho-physiological response analysis of the game aggression test sample
Based on the psycho-physiological state data analysis, we ranked the game aggression criteria as follows: adaptive criterion (58%), tactical criterion (57.9%), strategic criterion (54.4%) and legal criterion (47.2%). The psycho-physiological state ranking factors show variations in the subjects’ psycho-physiological state in the strategic, tactical and legal domains criteria that determine their competitive behaviors perceived as justified in the game situations.
We have analyzed the game aggression questionnaire test data of sample versus the psycho-physiological state test rates to produce the relevant percentage: see Figure 4.
Figure 4. Game aggression questionnaire test data versus the psycho-physiological state test rates of the sample
Based on the above analysis we found that the calculated responses to most of the questions coincide in direction, except for the strategic and tactical criteria rated negatively by 42.4% and 33.9%, respectively. The legal criterion was also negative at 29.2%. These test rates may be interpreted as indicative of the respondents being prone to overestimate their strategic and tactical competitive skills and compliance of rules – as verified by the negative psycho-physiological state test rates for these criteria.
Conclusion. The vibration imaging technology based game aggression rating model (using the computerized VibroSport system) in application to skilled athletes was found beneficial as it gives the means to rate actual game aggression by a variety of game aggression criteria versus the current psycho-physiological state test rates and distributions of the subject’s conscious responses.
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- Pat. RU 2017109920 RF. Psychophysiological state rating method. LLC MP Elsis». appl. 24.03.2017.
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Game aggression is interpreted herein as the controlled aggression in sports geared to secure a strategic advantage in competitions in the critical game intervals and matches on the whole. Coaches may test the mental and physiological responses of athletes to certain impacts using a set of the relevant criteria to rate the individual game aggression. The tests use a variety of stimulating images demonstrated on the screen in the questioning process. The game aggression express test data give the means to analyze the individual mental and physiological response profiles.
The test program was designed using the relevant set of game aggression rating criteria including the legal, physical, game, adaptive, strategic and tactical ones. Each of the game aggression rating criteria was covered by a special questionnaire survey to profile the current mental and physiological states and analyze distribution patterns in the responses. Sampled for the study were the Class I 19-20 year old academic athletes (n=20) competing in a few team sports at Lesgaft National State University of Physical Education, Sport and Health, with the test data processed by VibroSport software.