Currently, our lab several research projects underway that are related
to the research interests outlined previously. Brief descriptions
are outlined below and more information can be found in the
Elite Athlete Research
Our research group has been considering the various
constraints on athlete development for nearly 10 years. Current
investigations focus on understanding the primary and secondary factors
(Baker & Horton, 2004) that affect skill acquisition and expertise
development. A primary focus over the past few years has been understanding the limits of current approaches to talent identification and development.
Key recent publications:
Loffing, F., Schorer, J., Hagemann, N., Lotz, S., & Baker, J. (2012). On the advantage of being left-handed in volleyball: Further evidence of the specificity of skilled visual perception. Attention, Perception and Psychophysics, 74, 446–453.
Koz, D., Fraser-Thomas, J. & Baker, J. (2012). Accuracy of professional sports drafts in predicting career potential. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 22, e64-e69.
Baker, J., Cobley, S., & Schorer, J. (2012). Talent identification and development in sport: International perspectives. Routledge/Taylor and Francis.
Although our lab considers a diverse range of issues
related to optimizing the experiences of older persons, a primary
question is "to what extent can older persons maintain their skills in
the face of advancing age?" This question has important
implications for making informed policies regarding the capabilities of
aging members of our society. Current understanding suggests that
much of the decline in physical and cognitive abilities seen with age
is due to decreasing levels of involvement in stimulating
activities. In our lab we use the performance of Masters athletes
to represent the capabilities that are attainable if individuals
maintain involvement in physical activity throughout their
A second area of interest relates to
the role that negative stereotypes of aging play in promoting a
negative experience in later life. In
general, we (i.e., North Americans) live in a society that reinforces
the notion that aging is a bad thing - that our physical and cognitive
abilities inevitably decline as we get older until we reach a point
where we are unable to function independently. In another
social learning theory suggests that we are driven to participate in
activities where we feel competent and our lab is interested in
examining the role that negative societal stereotypes about aging play
in perpetuating dis-involvement in physical activity and other healthy
lifestyle behaviours. Collaborators include Janice Deakin and
Bill Pearce from
Queen's University, Jörg Schorer from the University of Münster, Janet
Starkes from McMaster University and Patti
Weir and Sean Horton from the University of Windsor.
Baker, J., Horton, S., & Weir, P. (2010). The masters athlete: Understanding the role of sport and exercise in optimizing aging. Routledge/Taylor and Francis.
Meisner, B. & Baker, J. (in press). Aging expectations are associated with preventive health care practices. Psychology and Aging.
Stone, R.C., Meisner, B.A. & Baker, J. (in press). Mood disorders among older adults participating in individual and group active environments: ‘Me’ versus ‘us’, or both? Journal of Aging Research.