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Psychology Notes – Mar. 27
- The nature of physical activity: Sport psychology is the study of the influence of psychological factors
on sport (mind to body relationship). Exercise psychology is the study of the influence of sport and
exercise on psychological behaviour (body to mind relationship). Physical activity is body
movements and it can be intentional (exercise) or not (if activity is part of your job, you are not doing
it to improve your fitness). Physical activity can vary in type, frequency, intensity, and duration. Type
is the physiological systems that are used in a particular activity, frequency is how much the activity
is performed over a time period, intensity is the load imposed on physiological systems by an
activity, and duration is the temporal length of a particular activity. Physical fitness is physiological
functioning and attributes we have to influence it. Different forms of physical fitness are
cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular endurance and strength, and body composition and
flexibility. Definitions of sport are usually too inclusive. Sport should include power, competition, and
- Physical activity and the five components of health: The health-illness continuum has four points –
death, illness, health, and perfect health. Each point on the continuum is made up of five components
of health – mental, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual. Wellness is achieved through balance
among the five components.
- Levels of physical activity: Active leisure (activities such as hobbies and exercise) and passive leisure
(listening to music and daydreaming) are linked to positive outcomes and general wellness. It is
recommended that people exercise at least 30 minutes a day. There has been an increase in the
number of Canadians who are moderately active. 52% of the population is moderately active.
- Five forms of physical activity: Three types are based on resistance: 1. Isometric – contract muscle
without moving the body, improves muscle strength. 2. Isotonic – weightlifting, improves muscle
strength and endurance. 3. Isokinetic – tension on a muscle group with a range of motion, improves
muscle strength and endurance. Two types are based on oxygen use: 1. Anaerobic – intense effort is
expended over a short period of time. 2. Aerobic – increased consumption of oxygen over an
extended period of time such as in jogging.
- Psychological benefits of physical activity: The benefits of exercise highlight the mind-body
integration, in that exercise can improve one’s psychological well-being. But there are some
methodological concerns regarding how this beneficial relationship can be measured and evaluated.
Ostrow (1996) developed special psychological tests for particular sports. Physical activity is linked
to sense of self, cognitive functioning, and mood (changes in neurotransmitter production). Some
studies have found that there is greater dopamine production with exercise, and that this makes you
more capable of feeling pleasure.
- Physical activity and sense of self: Lots of data show a correlation between physical activity and
mental health. Exercise is positively associated with improved self-concept, higher self-esteem, and
greater perceived self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is an individual’s perception of his ability to succeed at a
particular task at a specific time. Self-efficacy predicts athlete performance. There are four sources of
efficacy expectations – performance accomplishments, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion, and
emotional arousal. Performance accomplishments are actual experiences of mastery and are the
most influential source of self-efficacy. Success increases self-efficacy and failure decreases it.
Vicarious experience is experience that is gained through observing or visualizing others perform a
skill and it can alert people to their own capabilities and raise their sense of self-efficacy. Verbal
persuasion means to verbally persuade others that they have the skills to perform a particular task.
With emotional arousal, people assess their emotional level and evaluate their capabilities. High
levels of emotion may be thought to be debilitating and predictive of failure. Persistence is important.