Week 2 - Exercise 2.1 to 2.8
2.1) What role, if any, do traits have as causes of athletic performance? In your opinion, based on theoretical
reasoning, are traits simply inferences of behaviour?
According to the textbook, there is little evidence that personality traits can be predictors of performance, athletes or
non-athletes, or the type of sport people will choose. However, in a study by Rohodes, Courneya, and Hayduk (2002), it was
suggested that personality variables might moderate motivational variables in prediction of exercise behaviour. Researchers
suggested that individuals that are higher in extroversion (assertiveness, energetic approach to the world), as well as
conscientiousness (achievement-striving, self-discipline), are more likely to meet their intentions to exercise. A trait is
defined as a relatively stable characteristic or quality that may represent a portion of one’s personality; a quality used to
explain an individual’s behaviour across time and situation. In my opinion, a trait is just a part of your personality that forms
who you are, but I don’t believe that traits can cause certain behaviours, for example behaviours involved in athletic
2.2) Of the different theories of personality that have been described which one, in your opinion, would be most useful
vs. which one would be least useful in understanding and explaining the relationship between personality and
I think that the theory of personality that is most useful in understanding and explaining the relationship between
personality and sport participation is the Behavioural Model. The Behaviour Model suggests that personality is shaped over
time through the effects of reinforcement from social factors and situations. If someone decides to take up a new sport, like
baseball, but they realize that they can never hit the ball or the coach and teammates are always mean, based on this negative
experience in baseball, the person may decide to quit the sport and try something different. However, if the person can score
homeruns on most of his or her hits, and the teammates and coaches are both welcoming and encouraging, this positive
experience will help the person continue in the sport.
In my opinion, the Biological Approach is the theory of personality that is the least useful in understanding ad explaining
the relationship between personality and sport participation. The Biological Approach suggests that we are predisposed to
show certain behaviours in supporting environmental or situational conditions. I disagree with the fact that the Biological
Approach relies on heredity and genetics. I believe that some personality traits are genetic, like temperament, but when it
comes to looking at all of one’s personality trait make-up, I don’t think they all come from genetics.
2.3) Do you think that personality and the big five are good predictors of achievement in sport? Think back you your
most recent involvement with an excellent athlete. Does his or her personality distinguish him for her from other
athletes of different skill levels within that sport?
According to the course manual, only two of the big five have been found to be related to athleticism. These are
extraversion (social optimists, risk takers, highly sociable), and neuroticism (more resilient to aversive stimuli, more
confident, less anxious). I definitely believe that these two factors are shown in athleticism. Athletes are definitely risk takers
as they have to know when to do so to win a game, they also need to be confident in his or her own skills, as well as the skills
of the team and of the coach. The course manual states that there is no consistent evidence that shows a relationship between
personality factors and athletic performance, as the research is not in the forefront of most modern sport psychologists.
2.4) What are your opinion regarding “black sports supremacy effect”?