Class Notes (1,100,000)
CA (620,000)
WLU (20,000)
PS (3,000)
PS286 (30)

PS286 Lecture Notes - Conscientiousness, Extraversion And Introversion, Tiger Woods

Course Code
Richard Ennis

of 6
September 17, 2012
Lecture 2
The Trait Approach
- Traits are stable across time and situations
- Traits can predict behavior? I.e., athletics
The Big 5 (Theories…not necessarily true)
o Conscientiousness
One of the most important in the business world
But does a good athlete have to have high conscientiousness?
Especially in team sports, you would want the athlete to
score higher on conscientiousness
Same with individual sports, maybe a bit lower of a
Most athletes to score on the positive end of conscientiousness
It doesn’t quite predict whether or not the athlete will be good
or not
- Emotional stability/neuroticism
o High end of individual and team sports
o Extraversion
High end for team sports
o Agreeableness
Less predictability in the workplace
o Openness to experience
Lower for team sports and higher for individual sports
The Athletic Personality
- No consistent finding
- Some promising results, but no useful application so far
Three Models of the Athletic Personality
- Selection Model
o Using the personality traits to select athletes
o Traits lead to 1. Participation and 2. Success
o Athletes are “born” and “chosen”
o Snowball effect: child finds that sports are more fitting for their
typology rather than school
o If this were true, personality profiles would be predictive of athletic
o Nature over nurture emphasis
o Personality Participation
- Attrition Model
o Can predict non-athletes
o Certain traits lead to 1. Failure and 2. Discontinuance
o Hesitation and cautiousness don’t fit what happens on the playing
o Non-athletes are “born” and “not chosen”
o Non-athletes drop out of games and are “left-over”
No special characteristics
o If this were true, personality profiles would be predictive of athletic
o Nature over nurture emphasis
o Personality Participation
- Change Model
o Develop certain personality traits because someone plays sports
o Athletes are made
o “This builds character” …common phrase that emphasizes change
o Nurture over nature emphasis
o Participation Personality
o Developmental model
More common model of today’s society
o If this is true, personality profiles would be useful to measure
influence of participation in sports
o Sport can be a positive route to developing a child (with some obvious
Interactionist Approach
- Environment undeniably plays a role in athletics
- Focus on interaction between environment x athlete
- TRAIT x STATE athlete affecting environment and environment affecting
o Trait: Relatively stable attributes that athlete brings to situation
o State: Temporary attributes caused by situation
- Trait and state influence on anxiety both occur
Shifts in Emphasis
1. From group to individual
a. Focus on unique attributes of individual athlete
2. From talent detection to talent development
a. Focus on consequences of participation rather than predicting
3. From personality to performance
a. Focus on what, when, why, and how rather than who
- No athletic personality per se
o Athletes as varied as non-athletes
o Perhaps because sport is so varied
Require or develop different traits
Ex: a 5”2 individual has a domain of sports (such as jockeying)
There’s probably a sport out there for most people no matter
what shape, size, personality, skills, etc. you are/have
- Gender and race are not traits
o Modern focus of searching for group differences
o Some relevance for sociology of sport but not psychology of sport
o Best to assume same psychological issues with all athletes
i.e., exhaustive search for gender differences has yielded no
useful findings or practical applications
- “An athlete is an athlete is an athlete”
- There are traits that are important in sport
o Higher need for achievement, lower anxiety, higher self-esteem,
higher self-efficacy
o Mix of nature and nurture
o But even these are variable and unstable across time and situations
o Best viewed as “state” rather than “trait”
Socializing Into Sport
From “Person” to “Athlete”
- Socialization process
- Athlete becomes a significant part of
o Self-identity
I’m a tennis player
o Other identity
She’s a tennis player
- Athlete becomes significant determinant of
1. Affect
a. Source of pleasure, excitement, etc.
b. Boost of self-esteem
2. Behavior
a. Consumes more time and energy
3. Cognition
a. Greater preoccupation, focus
Uniqueness of Sport Environments Versus Non-Competitive Environments
- Challenging
o Probability of failure
o Can’t escape failure