-A negative emotional state characterized by nervousness, worry and
- Has cognitive (mental) component (worry and apprehension etc.) and a
somatic (physiological) component (^ heart or breathing, sweating, nausea,
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
There is no longer much support for this theory
NOTE: arousal/ anxiety/ stress/ are not always a bad thing
2. Inverted U Hypothesis
– There are optimal levels of arousal
– Once reach optimal level, performance deteriorates if you continue
to become more aroused or activated.
– Is a zone not a point (IZOF- Hanin)
– Varies from person to person
– Different task have optimal zones
1. Catastrophe Theory ( Hardy 1996)
– Somatic anxiety can have markedly different effects on
performance depending on the cognitive anxiety (worry)
– If worry low- inverted U relationship.
– 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.
1. Reversal Theory (Aapter & Kerr, 1984/85)
– It is the cognitive interpretation of one’s arousal level that impacts
– High arousal levels= excitements or anxiety.
– Low arousal levels= relaxation or boredom Pleasant OR unpleasant
– Individuals a