The Relationship Between Anxiety & Performance
Terms in this set (34)
Feelings of nervousness and tension associated with activation or arousal
What two dimensions are illustrated in the definition of anxiety?
Cognitive (thoughts associated with the anxiety e.g. worries) and physiological (your bodies reactions to that anxiety e.g. increased HR, BP, breathing etc.)
What is the difference between state and trait anxiety and how are they related?
- State anxiety is your level of anxiety you are experiencing at that particular time (e.g. you get anxious leading up to a major competition and as soon as you start playing that anxiety goes away)
- Trait anxiety is your behavioural disposition - the more you are predisposed to be an anxious person the more you will be anxious in a particular situation (e.g. one might feel slightly nervous for the competition while another may feel faint and nauseated)
State anxiety describes a temporary feeling while trait anxiety describes a personality characteristic
Relation: People with high levels of trait anxiety experience more intense degrees of state anxiety to specific situations - so knowing a persons level of trait anxiety will generally predict how they will behave in a certain competition
Describe the two components of the cognitive dimension of anxiety
Negative thoughts/worries related to
- Perceived threat
- Unfavourable outcomes - you don't think you can achieve the important outcome that you want to achieve
- Awareness of shortcomings/weaknesses - you start evaluating yourself and your weaknesses, worrying that you don't have the skills to meet the demands of the situation
What thoughts do athletes have that contribute to their cognitive anxiety?
Worry that they're not good enough, that their opponents are better, that they haven't practiced enough etc.
Describe the physiological dimension of anxeity
The physiological reactions to a stressor by involuntary (uncreased HR, BP, breathing, cold sweats) and voluntary muscle groups (tense muscles, shaking)
What physiological reactions do athletes experience when they are anxious?
Increased HR, breathing, BP, sweats, shaking, clammy hands, butterflies in tummy etc.
What is somatic anxiety and how does it differ from physiological arousal?
Your perception of your physiological reactions (e.g. whether you perceive your increased HR to be a good thing or a bad thing)
How are the physiological and cognitive dimensions of anxiety measured?
- Galvanic skin response
- Competitive stress anxiety inventory
- Three factor anxiety inventory
What problems are inherent with measuring anxiety?
Social desirability bias, athlete self-deception/self-defence, timing, retrospective recall
What effect does anxiety have on performance? Why does it have this effect?
Anxiety can have a positive effect on performance up to a certain optimal point and after this point performance begins to decrease
Why? Because some anxiety can be a good thing but when it gets too much some athletes don't have the resources to cope
What does the multi-dimensional anxiety theory predict the relationship between somatic anxiety and performance is?
Inverted U relationship - you will perform best when you have optimal level of somatic anxiety and the more or less you have will have a negative effect on performance
What does the multi-dimensional anxiety theory predict the relationship between cognitive anxiety and performance is?
An inverse (negative) relationship - as cognitive anxiety increases, performance decreases
What are the criticisms of the multi-dimensional anxiety theory?
- It doesn't consider the interactive effects between somatic and cognitive anxiety and performance.
- Sees cognitive anxiety as negative to performance but this is not always the case, cognitive anxiety can be positive if its facilitative (can increase the athletes effort and motivation)
What does the model predict the anxiety - performance relationship will be if:
• Cognitive anxiety is low and Physiological Arousal increases
• Cognitive anxiety is high and Physiological Arousal increases
• What is the Ideal Performance State?
- When CA is low, increased PA will have a positive effect on performance up to a certain point
- When CA is high, further increases in PA will have a negative effect on performance
- Ideal performance state is high CA and some level of PA
What is a catastrophe and when will a catastrophe occur?
A catastrophe is a dramatic drop in performance and occurs due to PA exceeding the optimal level
What are the key points of the catastrophe model?
- Interaction of CA and PA determines performance
- CA does not always impair performance
- CA can result in significantly better or significantly worse performances
What are the criticisms of the Catastrophe model?
- The model doesn't explain WHY CA and PA interact to cause performance
- Doesn't explain the how much CA and PA are required for optimal performance (but likely to be unique and differ between individuals and between sports)
Describe the Edwards & Hardy (1996) study and explain whether or not it supports the Catastrophe model
Study involving female netballers, HR and CA were measured 45 minutes pre-game, and performance was measured post game.
- Low CA - better performance with high PA
- High CA - better performance with low PA
- Best performances - high CA and low PA or low CA and high PA
Supports catastrophe model in that both some levels of CA and PA are required for athlete to have good performance
Explain the Hardy & Parfitt (1991) study and its conclusions with respect to hysteresis.
8 female bball players that took free throws when HR was increasing and decreasing
When PA was increasing, best performance happened at 90% MHR
When PA was decreasing, best performance happened at 70% MHR
At max HR, performance dropped by 10/12 shots and catastrophe occurred
When athletes had low CA, there was no effect on performance but performance level was not as good
Conclusion: Higher CA lead to better performances than low CA
How would you help an athlete control their anxiety in order to perform optimally?
- Track anxiety over time and compare to good and bad performances (so athlete knows what levels of CA and PA they need to have optimal performance)
- Determine conditions under which a catastrophe will occur (e.g. what does your athlete worry about and train them to act better in those situations)
- Use multi-modal strategies
What is directional anxiety?
Higher level of cognitive appraisal associated with interpretation of cognitive and physiological symptoms
Define debilitative and facilitative anxiety
Facilitative: When the athlete thinks anxiety enhances performance
Debilitative: When the athlete thinks anxiety impairs performance
Describe the results of studies that illustrate why it is important to include the interpretation of anxiety into the discussion of the effects of anxiety on performance.
Elite vs. non elite
- Elite view anxiety as more facilitative than non-elite but intensity is the same
Good vs. bad performance
- Good performance = higher facilitative anxeity
- Bad performance = higher debilitative anxiety
What is the relationship between self-confidence and anxiety
The more self-confident you are the less likely you are to view your anxiety as debilitative
What are the results of Neil et al (2012) study in rugby line out performance?
- Cognitive anxiety = interpretation predicted performance
Somatic anxiety = Interpretation = positive relationship with performance while intensity = negative relationship with performance
As situation becomes more crucial: Intensity increased and symptoms viewed as less facilitative and more debilitative
Elite have lower anxiety intensity and more facilitative interpretations - better prepared for crucial situations, less likely to let anxiety become debilitative
Give an example of facilitative and debilitative anxiety
Facilitative: Motivates me to do my best
Debilitative: Causes me to focus on the negatives and what could go wrong
What additional factors did Neil et al (2012) find influenced the interpretation?
Confidence in ability - view symptoms as facilitative
Previous success - felt same way last time they performed well
Describe the regulatory dimension of anxiety proposed by Cheng et al. (2009) - why is required?
- Reflects potential coping capacity and is not a distinct coping strategy
- A reflection of perceived control
What does Cheng et al propose is the relationship between the regulatory dimension and performance?
High ability to cope and attain goals - anxiety has positive effect on performance
Low ability to cope and attain goals - anxiety has negative effect on performance
Describe the conclusions of Cheng et al. (2011)
- Perceived control single best predictor of performance
- Performance was best with high perceived control and low levels of physiological arousal
Describe the process through which control will influence the interpretation of anxiety.
Sport stressor (e.g. worried that I'm not going to achieve my goal and will disappoint my coach) leads to positive expectations of ability to cope and attain goals and therefore is under control or negative expectations of ability to cope and attain goals and therefore is out of control
What are the psych skills/methods that we can use to help athletes view their anxiety as facilitative?
- Motivational and instructional self-talk
- Goal setting
- Create coping strategies
What did Hanton and Jones (1999) find in their intervention study?
Intervention resulted in increased facilitative anxiety and increased self-confidence
Intensity of anxiety did not change - just changed their interpretation of it
Outcomes remained 5 months later
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