ICU Graduate (graduated in March 2020) Receives Best Paper Award at the Conference of Kanagawa Society of Physical Education and Sports Science

Update: October 27, 2020

A senior thesis written by Ms. Mayu Katozumi (major: Media, Communication, and Culture, minor: Psychology) who graduated from ICU in March, 2020 was selected for the 2020 Best Paper Award of the Kanagawa Society of Physical Education and Sports Science.

The best paper award was selected from the papers peer-reviewed and published in Taiiku Kenkyu (physical education study journal) in academic year 2020 by nine reviewers (one chairman and eight other reviewers) based on a scoring system. Ms. Katozumi made the remarkable accomplishment of winning this award for a paper she wrote as an undergraduate student.

Research theme
Title: Research on Impression and Emotion Evaluation of Spectators in Artistic Sports Performance
Subtitle: Relationships among Technical, Artistic, and Physical Emotional Expressions in Rhythmic Gymnasts' Performance

Research summary
Characteristics of rhythmic gymnastics include: 1) that its evaluation is based on the artistic and expressive aspects of the performance, in addition to the technical aspects as in any other sports and 2) that both the technical and artistic aspects of the performance are evaluated by scores awarded by the judges. In light of these characteristics, spectator experiments were conducted with the participation of 309 university students to analyze the cognitive aspects of the spectators of rhythmic gymnastics competitions. Specifically, measurement indicators were developed for the spectator's evaluation of each of "techniques," "artistry," and "physical expression of emotions" of a rhythmic gymnastics performance, in order to examine from what viewpoints spectators perceive the technical, artistic, and expressive aspects of a performance. Then the relationship between the measurement indicators and their influence on the spectator's emotional evaluation were analyzed. The analysis showed that artistic evaluation has a positive impact on emotional evaluation, but technical evaluation has no direct impact on emotional evaluation. However, technical evaluation had an indirect positive impact on emotional evaluation when mediated through artistic evaluation. These results suggest that the emotions of the spectators of a rhythmic gymnastics performance are not influenced by the performer's technical skills, but by recognizing the artistic elements supported by the technical skills of the performer.

Comment on receiving the award
I was surprised when I heard the news, but at the same time, I was happy to know that my research has been recognized. It was a challenging research because few previous studies have been conducted in the same area. I was greatly encouraged by the feedback and generous support I received from many senior researchers when I presented my research at an annual conference of the Society just one year ago in October.

I was engaged in rhythmic gymnastics for 14 years up to high school. Objective study of rhythmic gymnastics gave me a chance to view the sport from the eyes of people with no experience in the sport, which was an interesting experience. I could never have won this award without the support of my senior thesis advisor, Yasuo Shimizu (Senior Associate Professor of College of Liberal Arts) and instructors from other universities who supported me as well as the students who kindly participated in the experiment.

I am glad that I was able to produce a tangible result as my senior thesis, which is an important milestone for graduation. Thank you very much.

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