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An individual's predisposition to behave in a certain way.


Personality is what tends to make you behave in a certain way.

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Hollanders Model

Inner Core:

  • Holds beliefs, values and attitudes
  • Fairly permanent, unlikely to change
  • Affects the next layer

Typical responses:

  • Typical response to a situation
  • Good indicator of inner core (same situation but different responses from different people)

Role Related behaviours

  • Shows our actual responses to situations
  • Most challenging aspect
  • Behaviour varies depending on how we feel and the situation we are in 
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Trait Theory

Innate enduring personality characteristic that allows behaviour to be predicted.

  • Personality does not change. Environment and situation does not affect
  • Cant help the way they act
  • Stable and unchanging over time
  • Tendency to think and behvave in certain ways is consistent in many different situations
  • Each person has a unique combination of these dispositions


  • Cannot explain why we may change our behaviour in different scenarios.
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Interactionist Theory

 An explanation of behaviour that assumes our personality depends on our traits and the environment

  • Came after trait theory
  • Recognises the part played by traits 
  • Suggests that our behaviour depends on what traits we have inherited and how these are influenced by our environment (Lewin 1935)
  • Our behaviour (B) us a function (f) of our personal traits (P) and the environment (E) in which we find ourselves.
  • B = f (P.E)
  • Causes of behaviour can be seperated into two classes of variables:
  • Personality and Environment and
  • Internal and External
  • Suggests that our personality will tend to be predictable in a particular environment, but also our behvaiour may be different in different environments.
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Measuring Personality

There are three main ways to measure personality. These are:


  • Responses and actions recorded and analysed. Similarities are noted down. 
  • Aim for a real life setting. Can see how they operate naturally
  • It is expensive and time consuming. Can have low validity as person may be affected by being watched


  • Greater validity. Can uncover things that are not possible by saying yes or no. 
  • Lower reliability of interviewer. Time consuming and expensive


  • Most common
  • They are cheap and easy. Can be conducted anywhere. 
  • Gives lots of data
  • Requires self assessment
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Need to Achieve (nAch)

  • Seek approach behaviours
  • Seeks out challenges
  • Concerned with standards
  • Enjoys performing
  • Is not afraid to fail
  • Internal attributes performance
  • Persistent at tasks
  • Values feedback from others
  • Approach behaviour
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Need to Avoid Failure (Naf)

  • Shows avoidance behaviours
  • Avoid challenging tasks
  • Avoids situations
  • Hates performing
  • Afraid to fail
  • External attributes performance
  • Lacks task persistence
  • Hates feedback
  • Avoidance behaviour
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Achievement Motivation Theory

The theory that an individuals behaviour is determined by their interaction with the environment and their desires to succeed.

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Profile Of Mood States (POMS)

A way of measuring the moods of those who participate in sport.

  • Tension
  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Anger
  • Vigour 
  • Fatigue

The Dog Called A Vampire Fat

  • Successful athletes show high vigour and anger and low on everything else.
  • Unsuccessful athletes show low vigour and relative equal across all other mood states.
  • Research has confirmed this
  • Findings are not applicable to all performers

Iceberg profile:

  • The POMS profile that is associated with successful athletes

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Validity, Reliability and Ethics

Research has outlined that there is no such thing as a sport personality


  • Difficulty repeating tests as everyone is unique


  • No clear definition of personality


  • Idea of probing into sensitive areas.
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Ego Orientated:

  • Interpreting success as a sign of superiority over others

Task Orientated:

  • Interpreting success as playing well.
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