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Flashcards in Arousal Deck (32):

What is arousal:

the state of general preparedness of the body for action, involving physiological and psychological factors


2 signs of high level arousal:

physiological (somatic) signs
psychological (cognitive) signs


Physiological signs are:

increased HR
Increased BR


Psychological signs are:

Increased focus and concentration
Heightened awareness of important cues
Attention narrowing
Decreased reaction time


If become too highly aroused psychological signs are:

negative self talk
inability to concentrate


Audience affects arousal:

People watching
More you want to impress them the higher your arousal
Hence if you do not want to impress them it may not affect your arousal


3 theories:

Inverted U


Drive theory states:

A linear relationship between arousal and performance
As arousal increases so does performance
Most relative for the elite
Higher arousal would intensify the DOMINANT RESPONSE


For expert the dominant response is likely to be

automatic and correct therefore lead to an improvement in performance


For beginner may be:

incorrect or inadequate and a higher level of arousal may cause a deterioration in performance(drive theory may be seen as inadequate)


Equation proposed to describe the relationship between habit strength and drive:

Performance = habit strength X drive


Drive theory is inadequate as

observation of even the most elite performers shows that at a certain level of arousal can stop the increase of performance or even deteriorate it


Inverted U theory states:

performance will improve as arousal increases and a certain point will be reached where optimal performance is achieved - should arousal continue to increase past optimum arousal level, performance will deteriorate


Reasons why a beginner is unable to perform as well as experts as levels of arousal increase:

1) Don't have the same level of habitual skills
2)Beginner needs to give a greater proportion of their attention to the performance of the skill - increased levels may take attention away from the skill performance and therefore the skill deteriorates
3) Likely that beginners would normally perform better with lower levels of arousal than an expert wouldneed
4)Gross skill may benefit from higher levels of arousal than performers using fine skills


Catastrophe theory involves:

a much more dramatic and faster reduction of performance - in U it is a steady decrease


In catastrophe could recover optimal level of arousal through:

supportive words from a coach or teammate as well as the implementation of effective stress management techniques


What is ZOF:

Zone of optimal functioning: the unique level of arousal for each athlete, which allows the athlete to perform with maximum concentration and effort


Hanin (ZOF) proposed that:

each individual has a ZOF and is referred to as 'being in the zone'


Hanin (ZOF) believed that:

instead of being at a specific point, there is an optimal band width or area in which the performer achieves their best performance


When in ZOF, athlete often experiences:

Feelings of the movement of being effortless, without conscious control
The ability to select the correct cues and make decision quickly and effortlessly in addition to remaining focused on the task without being distracted by other - IMPROVED SELECTIVE ATTENTION


Comparison between ZOF and inverted U:

the optimum level of arousal does not always occur at the midpoint of the arousal continuum, variable factors such as: the situation and the performer will cause the ZOF to alter
The optimum level of arousal occurs over a band width


Work must be done to allow the individual to recognise when they are both within and outside the ZOF:

Either need to relax or become more psyched up


What is attentional narrowing?

when optimal arousal levels are reached the performer should be able to detect the correct stimuli easily


Cue utilisation theory states that we:

detect cues required to complete the task successfully However if arousal increases, the performer may actually begin to miss vital cues and signals, which lead to a reduction in their performance levels


Attentional narrowing links:

arousal levels directly to the individual's ability to focus on relevant cues and stimulants


As attentional narrowing continues, vital cues can be missed, known as:

attentional wastage - decreases performance


Attentional wastage occurs when a performer's concentration is:

misdirected to cues that are irrelevant - decreases performance


Peak flow experience is:

a situation when the timings of movements and actions appear to be perfect
They seem unable to do wrong and everything they do seems to work
Ultimate intrinsic experience


'Flow experience' common characteristics are:

Complete absorption in the activity
Clear goals
Totally focused on task
Effortless movements


Factors that create peak flow experience:

Positive mental attitude with high levels of confidence
Relaxed performer, controlling anxiety
Focussing on specific aspects of the current performance
Confidence in personal physical readiness
Balanced emotional state


Suggested that there is a link between somatic arousal and cognitive arousal:

when the performer has reached the correct level of somatic arousal and cognitive arousal is low - peak flow is likely to occur


Many factors that may result in 'disrupted flow'

Crowd hostility
Uncontrollable events
Personal issues
Lack of challenges
Not at optimal arousal levels
Limited cohesion within the group
Negative self-talk
Poor officials
Poor preparation
Poor performance