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Oct 26th&29th - Arousal, Stress & Anxiety.docx

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Kinesiology 1088A/B
Bob Larose

Arousal, Stress and Anxiety th October 26 & 29th Arousal: activation level on both physiological and psychological terms  The intensity of motivation at any particular time  Activation or excitation ranging on a continuum from sleep to hyper-intensity  Caused by anticipation of an event, a threat, a worry Stress:  Selye (1956) – fight or flight syndrome  The result of a substantial imbalance between physical and psychological demands of a task and one’s response capabilities under conditions where failure has important consequences 4 stages: 1. Environmental demand 2. Perception of demand (threat) 3. Stress response (anxiety) 4. Behavioural consequence/outcome and performance (cyclical process – last experience effects perception of next experience) Anxiety:  A negative emotional state characterized by nervousness, worry and apprehension  Has a cognitive (mental) component and a Somatic (physiological) component (increased HR, sweating, nausea, “butterflies”, faint) Arousal Theories: 1. Drive Theory (Spense, 1966):  Performance = f(habit/drive)  Linear relationship between arousal and performance (as arousal increases so does performance)  Impact dependent on how well the task is learned (social facilitation theory) *No longer much support for this theory* Note: arousal, stress and anxiety are not always a bad thing – they increase intensity in small doses 2. Inverted U Hypothesis:  There are optimal levels of arousal  Once reached, performance starts to deteriorate if you continue to become more aroused or activated  Is a zone, not a point (individual zone of optimal function [IZOF] – Hanin) o There isn’t a point on the U where we can reach it, but a zone 3. Catastrophe Theory (Hardy, 1996):  Somatic anxiety can have different effects on performance depending on cognitive (worry) anxiety being experienced  If worry is low – inverted U  If worry is high – activation reaches an optimal threshold after which there is a dramatic or “catastrophic” decline in performance  Difficult to recover from once experienced 4. Reversal Theory (Apter and Kerr, 1984/5):  It is cognitive interpretation of arousal level that impacts performance  High arousal = excitement or anxiety  Low arousal = relaxation or boredom o Pleasant or unpleasant  People are subject to very rapid changes or reversals in their interpretation of the same thing (i.e. parachuting) Best performance is when interpretation is pleasant excitement Anxiety (Spielberger, 1996) (Need for achievement vs. Fear of Failure)  These are both personality traits, independent of one another and unchanging over long periods of time  They are basic traits that influence how arousal will affect a person in a situation (i.e. sport)  Measure with inventories like SCAT (sport competition anxiety test, Martens, 19770 Trait Anxiety  Stable personality tendency to see situations as threatening when really they are not State Anxiety  A changing emotional state characterized by tension and apprehension and by Automatic Nervous System reactions  Measure with inventories like SCAT (Sport Competition Anxiety Test – Martens, 1977) SCAT:  Assess degree of personality trait of anxiety (trait anxiety)  Asses degree of stress before, during and after event (state anxiety)  Assess overall effect of anxiety during performance Findings:  No difference in trait or state anxiety levels between: o participants and non-participants (e.g. players and spectators) o most skilled vs. least-skilled competitors (e.g. veterans and rookies)  State anxiety gradually decreases with age and experience  High trait anxious individuals experience higher feelings of state anxiety prior to, during and after competitions  Trait anxiety levels have no influence on ultimate ability levels IF you learn how to cope Source of Stress – Individualized 1. Situational A) Importance of the event of segments of it B) Uncertainty of outcome or life events(not necessarily to do with competition) 2. Personal A) Trait anxiety B) Self-esteem C) Social physique evaluation anxiety (societies stress on physical appearance) Other factors influencing one’s perception of stress in a competitive situation 1. Individual or team sport 2. Expectations and certainty for success 3. Winning vs. losing or trying to do one’s best (outcome vs. performance) (reference to Goal Setting) 4. Attributions to outcome – learned helplessness (blame others or yourself) Fear of Success (Horner, 1985)  Withhold effort or involvement so don’t have to live up to levels attained in previous best performance  Keep expectations low Effects of Anxiety 1. Somatic  Interferes with muscle co-ordination  Simultaneous contraction or tension in antagonistic muscle groups 2. Psychological (Distractions): a. Thinking abo
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