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Flashcards in Anxiety (Psychology) Deck (41):
1

What is Anxiety?

The feeling of fear and apprehension A sense of uncertainty caused by a situation seen as threatening A negative emotional feeling, belief or thought which results from arousal or stress.

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Types of anxiety What are the different types?

-Cognitive -Somatic -Trait -State -Competitive state and trait

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Cognitive anxiety

Cognitive anxiety is the psychological component of anxiety. The vague unpleasant thoughts a sports person may develop. They are usually associated with concerns about underachieving and negative expectations. -Confusion -Irrational thoughts -Lack of concentration

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Somatic anxiety

This is the physiological response of the body to the performer’s cognitive anxiety. -Increased heart rate and blood pressure -Sweating -Queasy feeling in stomach -Clammy hands Often a performer will experience these somatic effects and then worry more because they perceive that all these effects – all the body’s naturally occurring responses to increased arousal – will have a negative effect on their performance, and a downward spiral occurs.

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Trait anxiety

•Trait anxiety is innate. It is a personality trait and is a constant characteristic. A person with a high level of trait anxiety tends to... •Be generally predisposed to develop high levels of both cognitive and somatic arousal & anxiety quickly and easily. •This can be positive to a point (inverted-U) •But they generally react to situations with a very high and often disproportionate level of state anxiety. •They have a tendency to overreact in situations that the vast majority of people would view objectively as non-threatening. •Tend to view competitive situations as threatening. •It is also known as A-trait.

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State anxiety

•This is situation-specific anxiety; in certain situations sports performers do not feel anxious yet in others they feel highly anxious. •A player’s levels of state anxiety can vary in intensity from situation to situation and also at various times within the situation. For instance defending a corner in the last minute of a game you are winning 1-0 will obviously increase your level of state anxiety. Therefore state anxiety is temporary. •State anxiety is also known as A-state.

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How are state and trait anxiety related?

A performer who has high levels of trait anxiety is likely to perceive more situations as threatening and so is more likely to exhibit high levels of state anxiety, than someone with low trait anxiety, so trait anxiety affect state anxiety.

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What do you understand by the terms cognitive state anxiety and somatic state anxiety?

A. Cognitive state anxiety - psychological/feelings of nervousness/ apprehension/ and worry (not mental/mind thoughts);

B. Somatic state anxiety - physiological/ awareness of arousal, sweaty palms/ high heart rate/ butterflies/ nausea/ muscle tension etc

C. In a particular situation (Do not credit not physical)

3 marks

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How does anxiety affect performance?

-Cognitive and somatic anxiety

 

-Explain how cognitive and somatic anxiety affect performance

Cognitive

-There is a negative linear relationship between cognitive anxiety and performance. In other words, the lower the cognitive anxiety, the better the performance.

 

Somatic

-Moderate levels of somatic anxiety produce the best performance in the same way that moderate levels of arousal produce peak performance (according to the inverted–U theory).

A image thumb
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HOW DO COGNITIVE & SOMATIC ANXIETY CHANGE BEFORE & DURING COMPETITION?

Graph

A image thumb
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HOW DO COGNITIVE & SOMATIC ANXIETY CHANGE BEFORE & DURING COMPETITION?

BEFORE

-Cognitive effects tend to appear first, in the days before competition, as the performer thinks about the forthcoming event, develops negative expectations and begins to worry about underachieving.

-Cognitive anxiety builds up well before the game and tends to remain high to the onset of the event.

-Somatic anxiety is low in the days leading up to the event, but rises quickly in the hours immediately before the competition.

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HOW DO COGNITIVE & SOMATIC ANXIETY CHANGE BEFORE & DURING COMPETITION?

DURING

Somatic anxiety tends to decrease during the competition

Both may fluctuate during significant parts of the event, e.g. if a goal is scored, a penalty awarded, etc.

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Competitive Anxiety

This form of anxiety is specific to sport and is the tendency to see competitive situations as threatening. Performing well in difficult, challenging or highly emotional circumstances, i.e. competitive situations, is a problem to many sports performers, in particular those playing at elite levels.

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The two competitive anxieties

COMPETITIVE TRAIT ANXIETY – performer generally perceives competitive situations as threatening

COMPETITIVE STATE ANXIETY – level of anxiety during specific competitive situations

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How factors combine to affect anxiety

It is not just aspects of personality that determine anxiety levels – situational factors also need to be taken into consideration.

The diagram below shows the relationship between the situation and personality factors:

                              Competitive A-trait

                                               ()

Competitivesituation --> Perception of threat ---> A-state reaction

16

Explain the relationship between the factors shown on the diagram before

§Threat of evaluation leads to feeling of anxiousness

§Competitive A Trait – personality trait to become anxious in competitive situations

§Individual differences between people in same situation – some people have high competitive A trait

§This creates state anxiety – changeable feelings at a given moment/situation

§Situational factors – importance of situation/game creates different levels of anxiety in same person

§So individuals will have different levels of A state

§E.g. Someone with high A trait who is playing in a very important game will exhibit high A state.

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Why is measuring anxiety important?

Anxiety states can negatively affect a performer’s concentration, attention and level of information processing in competitive situations. It is important that coaches are aware of these effects, can measure and predict them in relation to specific circumstances, and then possibly control them.

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Measuring Trait Anxiety

A person's trait anxiety can be measured through a self-report questionaire such as the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI)

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Measuring competitive anxiety

Anxiety can also be measured through observation and using physiological tests. More reliable methods are the Sports Competition Anxiety Test (SCAT) and the CSAI2 (Competitive State Anxiety Inventory 2). These are both self-report questionnaires which measure tendencies to become anxious before competition. They are reliable tests and so can also be used by coaches to predict how likely a performer is to become anxious before future competitions.

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Methods Of Measuring Anxiety

There are three main methods of measuring anxiety.

-Self-Report questionnaires – this involves giving short written answers to questions that can then be standardised on a scale to compare results. E.g. SCAT

-Observation – here the researcher watches the players in action and notes aspects of their behaviour

-Physiological responses – the player is wired up to a monitor such as a heart-rate meter, and accurate readings of responses to exercise or stress are taken.

 

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Advantages of Questionnaire (self-report)

  • Quick
  • Easy to complete
  • Lots of information collected
  • Easy to compare individuals

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Disadvantages of Questionnaire (self-report)

  • Honesty of answers- biased
  • Time of day/mood could be different, changes answers
  • Not much variety of answers
  • Vague question (misunderstood) changes answer
  • Personality of the tester

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Advantages of observation

-In a sport setting - true to life

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Disadvantages of observation

  • Complete more than one observation
  • Time consuming
  • Behavioural altered if youknw you're being watched- evaluation apprehension
  • Subjective- open to observer bias
  • Need to know natural patterns of behaviour to see if it's changed.

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Advantages of physiological methods e.g. measuring heart rate

  • Quantitative objective data
  • -Collects accurate data

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Disadvantages of physiological measures

  • impractical - restrictive to performance
  • Being wired up causes anxiety

27

Goal setting

Goal setting is an important strategy used in sport by coaches and players. Performance can be enhanced by a goal setting approach. Players who set goals usually perform better than those who do not.

 

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Goal setting is beneficial because it...

•Allows targets to be met

•Reduces anxiety and stress

•Controls arousal levels

•Provides motivation

•Improves confidence

•Allows attention to be directed to key elements of performance

•Sustains effort

•Regulates effort

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TYPES OF GOAL

 

Outcome Goals

These are relaed to the end result.

e.g win the 100m race

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Task Orientated

These are concerned with improving technique or performance, i.e. focusing on achieving a goal without necessarily winning. They don’t involve comparison against others. Task oriented goals can be split into performance or process goals…

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Performance Goals

These are concerned with performance judged against other performances.  E.g. run a better time in a race than last time

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Process Goals

These concentrate on the performer’s technique and tactics, i.e. what a performer has to do to be more successful.

For example, as a goal attack, you need to stay further up the court. To make your javelin go further, make sure you keep your elbow higher.

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Some important points about goal setting

-When setting goals, it is important to use a combination of types, as simply setting goals which are concerned with winning can be demotivating for a performer if they perceive the win as being too difficult to achieve.

-Goals should focus on personal improvement and technique, and so be more performance-based. In a marathon, there is only one winner but a chance for everyone to achieve a personal best.

-Performance goals reduce anxiety in competition and provide more consistent motivation.

-Outcome goals focus on gaining a prize and provide a basis for comparison – they are more likely to cause stress, particularly if the prize is not gained.

-Short-term goals provide a means for reassurance.

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Making goal setting effective

Using the SMARTER principle

-Specific

-Measurable

-Achievable

-Realistic

-Time-bound

-Evaluate

-Re-do

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Specific

Clear & set for the individual performer and their sport. Not general, e.g. get fitter, specific – get level 10 on bleep test.

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Measurable

Gives infomation about success which will motivate the performer and allow further goals to be set

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Achievable

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Realistic

Goals should not be too easy - demotivating because the performer may not try as hard. Difficult goals lead to better performance than setting medium or easy goals. Goals set just beyond reach produce a better performance that those than easy ones.

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Time-bound

Goals should be split into short-term goals leading to long-term goals. This step-by-step approach over a period of time ensures that goals remain realistic and achievable.

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Evaluate

Look at successes and failures. The performer and the coach should evaluate how and when the goal was achieved. Any successful methods can be used in the future.

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Re-do

Revisit the failures. If the goal hasn’t been achieved new targets should be set.