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Richard Ennis

September 17, 2012 Lecture 2 Personality The Trait Approach - Traits are stable across time and situations - Traits can predict behavior? I.e., athletics The Big 5 (Theories…not necessarily true) - OCEAN 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 score  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 - OCEAN - Emotional stability/neuroticism o High end of individual and team sports - OCEAN o Extraversion  High end for team sports - OCEAN o Agreeableness  Less predictability in the workplace - OCEAN 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 success 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 fields 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 failure 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 model 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 exceptions) 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 athlete 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 participation 3. From personality to performance a. Focus on what, when, why, and how rather than who Conclusions - 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.
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