Department of Kinesiology

KIN 305

Psychological Bases of Human Movement

Ellen Carlton, Ph.D.

Course Description


Class Meetings & Labs

Evaluation & Grading

Required Texts

Special Concerns

Course Requirements

Learning Outcomes

Empirical Article Presentations


Course Description:

Students will be introduced to sport and exercise psychology research concerning the learning and performance of motor skills. Particular consideration will be given to individual differences and special populations. Upon completion of the class students should have an understanding of current motor learning principles and theories as well as sport and exercise psychology approaches to such constructs as personality, motivation, goal setting, arousal, stress, anxiety, group dynamics, leadership, moral development, and exercise adherence.

Course Topics

Current and Classic Motor Learning Theories

Theoretical orientations in Sport & Exercise Psychology


Achievement Motivation & Competitiveness

Arousal, Stress, & Anxiety

Competition & Cooperation

Feedback, Reinforcement, & Intrinsic Motivation

Goal Setting


Group and Team Dynamics



Exercise and Psychological Well-Being

Exercise Adherence

Psychological Growth & Development through Sport

Aggression in Sport

Character Development & Sportspersonship


Class Meetings: Lecture and Labs

Lecture and Lab participation are required aspects of this course. Lab work experiences are to illustrate and support the principles studied in readings, lectures, and class discussions.

Lectures are: Monday and Wednesday 8 - 9:15 am

Labs are: Monday OR Wednesday 9:20 - 11:50 am

To get credit for a lab students are required to:
  • Be on time
  • Participate fully
  • Stay for the entire lab


Required Texts:

  • Weinberg, R.S. & Gould, D. (1999). Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology
  • Carlton, E. Lab Notebook/Supplemental Reader


Course Requirements

  • Students are expected to attend class on time and prepared to participate in discussions and lab experiences. Excessive absences or lateness will likely impact upon the quality of participation and the student's grade.
  • Students are required to complete of all assignments, labs, and tests (quizzes, midterm, final).



Examinations will consist of short answer and essay questions. Quizzes will cover the current reading (text & reader), lecture & lab material. Some will be announced ahead of time, others will be of the pop quiz variety.

The Midterm will cover first half of the course and the Final Exam will emphasize material presented in the second half of the course and will include material from the first half of the course.

All exams should be taken at their scheduled time.

Make-up exams --at the instructors discretion

  • If instructor is notified at least 24 hours in advance, the exam may be made-up within 2 days for full credit.
  • If instructor is notified less than 24 hours in advance, exam can be made-up later that day for full credit or 10% deduction -at instructor's discretion. Thereafter exam may be made-up at 10% deduction in grade per day.



  • All out of class assignments MUST BE TYPED and handed in ON TIME in lecture or in lab in person.
  • Late assignments accepted with permission only; points will be deducted.


Assignments include:

® Class Summary
Each student is asked to present a class summary of one class/lecture. The class summary is presented in the beginning of the class, and should be about 6 minutes in length. Class summaries are worth +10 points if given on assigned day and -10 if not.

® Review of an Empirical Research Article: Presentation & Paper
The empirical study presentation and paper is to be of scholarly format and content on a topic of interest to the student within the scope of the psychological bases of human movement. Topics that are not within this scope will not be accepted. The empirical research article is to be obtained from academic journals only (see list of journals). Further information will be provided when assigned. (Article presentation to lab = 15; Write up of empirical study = 20 points)

® Behavior Change/Achievement Goal Project
The object of this assignment is to have you learn about behavior change through designing and implementing an achievement program related to a personal motor skill, psychological skill, or fitness goal that you can achieve in a six week period. (Proposal = 10; post 2 week write up = 20; post 6 week write up = 40; total = 70 points)

® Group Observation Project
In this project you will work with 2-4 others to collect observational data concerning leadership, communication and reinforcement styles styles and motivational climate in organized instructional motor skill settings (e.g. coaching, PE class, dance class, martial arts class, physical therapy, athletic training, etc.). You may want to work with others in your Kinesiology major concentration (APE, AT, Pre-PT, Exercise Science, Physical Education, or Interdisciplinary) to identify a movement setting that is most applicable to your career goals.

® Lab Assignments
In addition to the assignments above there will be lab assignments. Some lab assignments will be completed in lab. Some will be started in lab and completed outside of lab. Some lab assignments will be out of class assignments.



Total points will be considered in the final grade, drawn from all assignments, tests, class attendance and participation (600 points possible).

Total Possible Points:




Group Project









Achievement Goal Project



Final exam



Empirical Research



Class Summary






Final Grades will be calculated on the following basis:



570 to 600



492 to 509



408 to 431



540 to 569



468 to 491



390 to 407



528 to 539



450 to 467



372 to 389



510 to 527



432 to 449



< 372


Notes/Special Concerns

  1. Be prepared to start working on class assignments right away. The course is designed in such a way that assignments and tests are distributed throughout the semester not truncated toward the end of the semester.
  2. Be sure to keep a copy of all assignments to be handed in.
  3. The best way to communicate with me is through e-mail ( While you can leave phone messages on my voice mail (664-3918) I return very few phone messages.
  4. Graded assignments and quizzes will be handed back in class once. If you are not there at that time you can pick the assignment/quiz up in my office during office hours.


Learning Outcomes:

By completion of this course students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of current and classic motor learning theories.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the process of learning and effective teaching pedagogy emphasizing transfer of learning, demonstration and modeling, and specific, positive, appropriate feedback.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of current sport and exercise psychology theories and constructs.
  • Recognize the physical, social, and emotional developmental changes that occur in learning and performing motor skills in sport and exercise settings over the life span and with respect to individual differences and special populations.
  • Implement effective motivational strategies emphasizing intrinsic motivation, perceived competence, mastery orientation and persistence.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the skills necessary to work effectively with people in a variety of contexts and settings (communication, group/team building skills, leadership, acceptance of individual differences)
  • Identify desirable behaviors in sport and exercise settings for athletes, coaches, teachers, athletic trainers, physical therapist and other Kinesiology related professions and structure experiences to develop responsibility for such behaviors in each individual.
  • Identify psychological constructs relevant to participants in sport and exercise settings and investigate the empirical research relating to these constructs in appropriate sport and exercise academic journals.
  • Design and complete an Achievement Goal Project involving either the implementation of an exercise program or the learning/improving of a motor skill.
  • Be sufficiently familiar with the basic principles of goal setting to motivate individuals toward immediate and long range goals.


How to reach me:

Office: Physical Education #25
Phone: (707) 664-3918; message: (707) 664-2357
E-mail is usually the best way to reach me.

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