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Lecture 1

Kinesiology 1088A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Autonomic Nervous System, Trait Theory, Drive Theory


Department
Kinesiology
Course Code
Kinesiology 1088A/B
Professor
Bob La Rose
Lecture
1

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Lecture 1- Arousal, stress and anxiety 10/20/2014
Arousal
A blend of physiological and psychological activation
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, or worry
Stress
The result of a substantial imbalance between the physical and psychological demands of a task and one’s
response capabilities under conditions where failure has important consequences
4 stages
environmental demand
perception of demand (threat)
stress response (anxiety)
behavioral consequences (outcome/performance)
Anxiety
A negative emotional state characterized by nervousness, worry or apprehension
Has a cognitive (mental) component (worry, apprehension, etc.) and a somatic (physiological) component
(increased heart or breathering rate, sweating, nausea, “butterflies”, etc.)
Arousal Theories – text pg 85-90

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1. Drive Theory
Performance = function (habit/drive)
Habit is how habituated you are
Drive is the motivation
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/anxiety 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 tasks have different optimal levels
3. Catastrophe Theory
Somatic anxiety can have markedly different effects on performance depending on the cognitive anxiety
(worry) being experienced
If worry low – inverted U relationship
If worry high – activation reaches an optimal threshold after which there is a dramatic or “catastrophic”
decline in performance
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Difficult to recover from once experienced
4. Reversal theory
It is the cognitive interpretation of one’s arousal level that impacts performance
High arousal = excitement or anxiety
Low arousal = relaxation or boredom
Pleasant or unpleasant
Individual are subject to very rapid changes or reversals in their interpretation of the same event (i.e.
parachuting)
Best performance when interpretation is pleasant excitement
Anxiety
(need for achievement vs fear of failure)
these are personality traits, independent of one another and stable over long periods of time
they are basic traits that will influence how arousal will affect a person in a specific situation (competitive
sport)
Trait Anxiety
Stable personality tendency to perceive situations as threatening when they really are not
State anxiety
A changing emotional state characterized by tension and apprehension and by autonomic nervous system
reactions
Measure with inventories like SCAT (sport competition anxiety test – martens, 1997)
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