Changes in the perception of action possibilities while climbing to fatigue on a climbing wall

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    In two experiments we examined changes in the perception of action possibilities as a function of exertion. In Experiment 1, participants repeatedly climbed on a climbing wall in a series of trials that progressively increased in number to 10 trials, resulting in increased exertion. Before and during climbing, the participants judged their maximum reaching height and perceived exertion. On a separate day, participants climbed another 10 trials while performing actual maximum reaches. Higher perceived exertion was associated with decreases in perceived maximum reach while the actual reaches did not decrease. However, the perceptual changes occurred early during task execution when the participants were not yet fatigued. When exertion set in, neither perceived nor actual maximum reaching appeared to be affected. In Experiment 2, we included exhaustion trials. The findings replicated the early changes in perception observed in Experiment 1, which may be explained by hands-on experience with the task. Furthermore, while climbing to exhaustion, perceptual judgements largely changed in keeping with changes in the actual maximum reach. Thus, there appeared to be a functional relationship between participants' actual action capabilities, rather than their state of physical fatigue per se, and perceived action possibilities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)97-110
    JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


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