Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Russell T. Hurlburt

Number of Pages



Sport performance is widely believed to depend on internal processes that occur during performance. Studies examining these processes have relied on retrospective self-reports obtained long after performance, a method limited by athletes' abilities to compete and recall. Our study circumvented these problems by obtaining contemporaneous non-retrospective reports of inner experience using Descriptive Experience Sampling (DES). DES uses a device that emits a random beep via an earpiece. Participants record ongoing inner experience immediately after the beep in a notebook. Within 24 hours participants are interviewed about these momentary experiences. Five highly-skilled (handicaps of between 2 and 7) and five moderately-skilled (handicaps between 13 and 26) golfers competed in an experimental tournament. DES was used to examine inner experience during golf. Golf inner experiences consisted of golf-related content, mental preparation strategies, perceptual awareness, and inner speech most prominently. Unsymbolized thinking, sensory awareness, feeling, and speaking aloud were also present. Inner experience during golf was also found to be individually different. Golf-related content and mental preparation strategies may be positively related to performance.


Experience; Golf; Inner; Inner Experience; Mental Preparation; Performance; Phenomenology; Sport Psychology

Controlled Subject

Clinical psychology; Cognitive psychology; Recreation; Psychology, Experimental

File Format


File Size

7127.04 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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