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Define personality

“Those relatively stable and enduring aspects of individuals which distinguish them from other people, making them unique but at the same time permit a comparison between individuals”. (Gross, 1992)


SLT-Bandura (1977)

Suggested that behaviour is learned from the environment through a process of observational learning. Even without rewards presents.
• Personality structures appear to be cognitive
o They relate to knowing, being ware, thinking, learning & judging.
Four constructs need to be taken into account to get a full understanding of SLT:
• Competencies & skills.
• Beliefs & expectancies.
• Behavioural (evaluative) standards.
• Personal goals.
According to Pervin et al (2005)


Interactionist view-Lewin (1937)

Suggested that neither nature nor nuture can account for an individual’s behaviour and personality.
Proposes that they are developed through a constant interaction between the person and their environment.
B= f(P, E)
Behaviour is a function of the person and their environment.
This suggests that personality can only be understood when personal and situational factors together, into account.
A fundamental part of who we are depends on our genes.


Mischel et al (2003)

takes a social-cognitive approach, and is interested in 4 personality variables:
• Competencies-our skills & knowledge.
• Encoding strategies- our particular style & the schemas we use in processing information.
• Expectancies- what we expect from our behaviour an our anticipation of our performance levels.
• Plans-what we intend to do.
The interaction with environmental situations results in the expression of personality. How does an individuals personality unfold, or develop, across different social situations


Issues with the measurement of personality

• Data collection:
o Interviews
o Questionnaires
o Observation
• Validity:
o Bias
• Ethical issues:
o Confidentiality
o Use of the results
o Prediction of performance (demand characteristics)
• Volume of data:
o What’s relevant
o Do those providing the information have a bias?
o Do the observers?
• Data from an individual:
o Accurate
o Might want to be painted in a positive light
o Able to truly assess mental state? -denial

Need to be situation specific, individually orientated and micro-analytic.
Beware of limitations and flaws.


Evaluate the issue in personality research and sports performance

athletes versus non-athletes: may discourage non-sportspeople from attempting sports that don't 'fit' their personality
personality and sport type: if a personality is assigned to a sport, those not demonstrating will be less likely to take up the sport as they do not think that they suit the stereotype of the sport.
predicting performance: implications of predicting performance, rather than it be a natural progression and taking into consideration environmental factors


Define motivation

‘the internal mechanisms and external stimuli which arouse and direct out behaviour’.
(Sage, 1974)


Intrinsic motivation

• Comes from within.
• We derive pleasure/satisfaction from participation.
o Excitement, fun, enjoyment, improvement.


Extrinsic motivation

• Comes from external rewards.
o Money, trophies, prizes.
o Less tangible: praise status.


Addictive principle

intrinsic motivation is boosted by extrinsic motivators.


Deci and Ryan (1985)

• Developed cognitive evaluation theory.
o If performance is driven by intrinsic motivation, extrinsic rewards may reduce intrinsic motivation.
• They divided rewards into 2 types:
o Controlling rewards:
Trophies, praise
Given to control an individual
o Informational rewards
Convey information about competence in a particular task.
Increase intrinsic motivation.


McClelland (1961) Atkinson (1974)
Theory of Achievement Motivation

• They argued that motivation is a balance between the motive to achieve success and the motive to avoid failure.
• Sport environment is entered into with an approach-avoidance conflict.
• On one hand- want to succeed. (NACH)
• On the other hand. (NAF)
• Achievement motivation= desire to succeed-fear of failure.
• AM is a personality trait.
• For some desire to succeed outweighs the fear of failure.
=high achievement motivation. (NAF)
• This is also influenced by the situational factors.
Probability and incentive for success.
• 5 components contribute to NACH theory:
1. Personality factors.
2. Situational factors.
3. Resultant tendencies.
4. Emotional reactions.
5. Achievement related behaviours.


Behaviours of high achievers

Select challenging tasks
Display high levels of effort
Continue to try hard in difficult situations
Focus on pride and success


Behaviours of low achievers

Avoid challenging activities
Exert less effort when they take part
Exert less persistence when they take part
Focus on shame of failure


Goal orientation theory
-Nichollos (1989)

• In achievement setting:
• Main concern is to demonstrate high ability.
o Avoid demonstrating low ability.
• Ability can be viewed in different ways.
• This is based on two states of goal involvement:
o Task involvement.
o Ego involvement.


Task involvement

Focus is on:
• Task mastery.
• Learning skills.
• Exerting effort.
• Self-improvement.

measure their success against themselves, how well they complete a task (personal bests) (Intrinsic motivation)


Ego involvement

Focus in on:
• Demonstrating superior ability.
• Winning competitions.
• Exerting only minimal effort.

measure their success based on beating others and being the best (Extrinsic motivation)


3 factors that determine motivation according to goal orientation theory

• Achievement goals.
• Perceived ability.
• Achievement behaviour.


How might perceived ability effect motivation in those who are task or ego orientated?

o Perceived ability not relevant, success self-referenced.
o Perceived ability high relevant, need to demonstrate high ability.
o Appears to be a stable trait


Attribution Theory

This is the focus on the reasons we use to explain success and failure
How we attribute success and failure will affect:
• Future expectations.
• How you feel.
• Motivation.


Weiner (1985)

provided a classification system we can use for all possible attributions:
o Locus of stability.
o Ability/luck
o Locus of casualty.
o Effort/opposition.
o Locus of control.
o Tactics/weather.



When we win blame internal factors

If we attribute performance to stable, internal factors we tend to feel pride in our achievements.
-increasing motivation.

However when we lose we blame external factors


Learned helplessness

Failure is due to a lack of ability, actions have no effect on the outcome
-failure attributed to internal ability that cannot be changed.


Linking this to high NACH individuals:

o They tend to attribute success to high levels of effort and ability, failure to low effort.
Low NACH’s:
o Attribute failure to externals.

o Suggests why things might go wrong.
o Does this theory tell us how to put things right?
o A lack of application to sport?
o Focus on why people expert to succeed, not why they want to succeed.



Arousal is an alertness or state of reediness (ranging from deep sleep to intense alertness) of the body for an action
It is neutral and can be triggered by both pleasant/positive and unpleasant/negative situations
It is how motivated/interested/excited an athlete is prior to and throughout the performance


Theoretical approaches to arousal:
Drive reduction theory Hull (1943)

o Drive= a state of tension/arousal caused by biological/physiological needs.
• Creates an unpleasant environment.
o This suggests that: the more aroused an athlete is, the better the performance.
o High arousal level=high performance.
o When skills are well-learned.
o Suggests that novices do not perform well under pressure.
o Limitations:
• Over-arousal can lead to choking=decrease in performance.
• Suggests that professional athletes wouldn’t fail-doesn’t allow for failure.
• Suggests that we just keep getting better.


Theoretical approaches to arousal:
Inverted-U hypothesis
Yerkes and Dodson (1908)

• Suggested that, for complex tasks, there was an optimum level of arousal.
• Above and below this performance levels would decrease.
• Still often used to explain sports performance.
• Little supporting evidence.
• A very simple explanation.
• Might not account for a sudden/catastrophic loss in performance, it suggests that we can get back to an optimum level of performance easily.


Theoretical approaches to arousal:
Catastrope theory
Hardy and Fazey (1987)

• This is a development of the inverted-U.
• It predicts a rapid decline in performance.
• At the back, a gentle inverted U.
• At the front, cognitive anxiety is high, physiological arousal increases, performance suddenly drops.

• This does suggest that a ow cognitive anxiety will allow gradual increase to optimum (followed by a decline) in performance.

• Following a sudden decline Hardy & Fazey proposed that a small reduction in physiological arousal was not sufficient to regain the levl of performance.

• Instead a significant reduction was required.

• This is not shown on the model.
• Limitations:
• Doesn’t explain how it occurs.
• We cannot accurately determine where as athlete is on the “performance surface”
• Limited potential for real-world application.
1. Another explanation needed.
2. Links between anxiety and attention.
3. As anxiety increases-attention decreases.
4. We take in less information, and often ignore some.


Discuss the emotions that may influence an athlete's performance or experience in physical activity

Participation in sport and exercise influences a range of participant emotions such as depression, anxiety and pleasure.
-positive emotions: excitement, relief, pride
-negative emotions: anger, guilt, shame, anxiety, boredom
-specific emotions that have discrete effect in performance (e.g. negative mood is more likely to prime us to remember negative memories of past failures, and thus reduce our feelings of confidence to perform. e.g. positive mood is more likely to prime us to remember positive previous outcomes, and increase our confidence to perform.


Define anxiety

“the subjective evaluation of a situation , which concerns jeopardy to one’s self-esteem during performance or social situations, physical danger, or insecurity and uncertainty” (Schwenkmezger and Steffgen, 1989)