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Chapter 5

95-211 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Perforin, Motor Skill, Catastrophe Theory

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Chapter 5: Anxiety in Sport and Exercise October 5, 2015
Arousal – Physiological and psychological activation that varies on a continuum from deep sleep
to peak activation or frenzy
High end of continuum – high-arousal athletes commonly exhibit physiological and
psychological symptoms – racing heart, shallow breathing, sweaty palms, tunnel vision and
No ideal level and can be + and –
Anxiety – a negative emotion that is elicited following an appraisal of a situation or event
1. Elicited following an appraisal or evaluation of specific situation or event
2. Universally observe across people of all cultures
3. Distinct physiology
4. Observed through a discrete facial expression
5. Associated with unique set of behaviours called action tendencies
Cognitive anxiety – mental component of anxiety referring to worries and concerns, reduced
ability to focus or concentrate
Somatic anxiety – physical component of anxiety referring to perceptions of body states, such
as racing heart or butterflies in the stomach
Moderately interrelated and levels of both anxiety responses experience in most competitive
Social anxiety – a specific sub-type of anxiety that occurs when people believe they will receive
a negative evaluation from others
Ex. Speaking in front of large group of people, competing in stadium full of fans, and working
out at local gym
Competitive anxiety – a sub-type of social anxiety that occurs in competitive sport situations,
and results from worry about their body, performance or skills being evaluated negatively by
Social physique anxiety – a specific sub-type of social anxiety that occurs when people are
worried about receiving a negative evaluation about their body from others
State anxiety – anxiety that is experienced at a particular moment in time, and can change from
moment to moment
Trait anxiety – a general predisposition to perceive a variety of situations as threatening
Anxiety and stress influenced by demands placed on the athlete by environment (how
many other exercisers in class) and evaluation by athlete or exerciser of the available
resources (level of fitness)
Dimensions of the Anxiety Response
Intensity of Symptoms
Amount or level of symptoms experienced by physical activity and sport participants
Frequency of Cognitive Intrusions

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Amount of time, in percentage, that thoughts and feelings about competition occupy an
individual’s mind
Dimension of anxiety is deemed to be important for understanding the temporal nature of
the anxiety response
Directional Interpretation of Symptoms
Anxiety perceived to have a positive influence on sport and exercise behaviours
Extent to which the intensity of cognitive and somatic anxiety symptoms labeled either
facilitative or debilitative to sport or physical activity performance
Sources of Anxiety
Personal Sources of Anxiety
1. Experience and Skill Level
More skilled athletes view anxiety symptoms to be facilitative or helpful for performance
compared to less skilled
Lower intensity of pre-competitive anxiety and evaluate to be more facilitative for sport
performance compared to less-experienced performers
2. Gender
Physical activity settings, females consistently experience higher levels of social
physique anxiety compared to males
Different factors related to social physique anxiety for males and females in physical
activity settings
3. Trait Anxiety
Competitiveness, extraversion, hardiness, neuroticism, optimism/pessimism,
perfectionism, self-consciousness and self-esteem – influence individual’s level of
competitive state anxiety and social physique anxiety
Competitive trait anxiety – the tendency for athletes to experience anxiety during
competitive sport situations
4. Self-Confidence and Self-Presentational Beliefs
Confidence in oneself and one’s team is associated with less pre-competitive anxiety
View state anxiety symptoms as facilitative for performance despite the intensity of
anxiety symptoms
Self-presentation – the process by which people attempt to monitor and control the
impressions that other people form of them
More likely to experience elevations in competition trait and state anxiety intensity –
more concerned
Self-presentation beliefs source of anxiety for many exercisers – physical appearance
People exercise more to control their weight and appearance, social physique anxiety also
Self-presentational efficacy – confidence in one’s ability to successfully present a
desired image to others
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