Sport Psychology

AQA sport psychology revision cards

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  • Created by: Saf
  • Created on: 11-04-09 09:34

Assertion and Agression 1

Assertion is behaviour which is not outside the rules of the game and does not have the intention of causing harm. For example, a fair but hard challenge in a game of football

Aggression incorporates the desire to harm another person and is not within the laws of the game. For example, pushing another player over in a game of football.

There are several theories concerning why we are aggressive. Some are more popular than others:

  • Natural instinct - Humans are predisposed to aggressive behaviour as a survival tool
  • Frustration - When a person is stopped from achieving they become frustrated and aggressive
  • Social learning - Aggression is learnt from those around us and those in the public eye
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Assertion and Agression 2

How to Combat Aggression

  • Showing non-aggressive role-models
  • Rewarding 'turning the other cheek'
  • Punishing aggression e.g. red card
  • Control of arousal levels
  • Avoidance of situations which cause aggression
  • Handing responsibility to an aggressive player
  • Stopping repeatedly aggressive players from participating further
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Attitudes 1

An attitude is 'a learned emotional and behavioural response to a stimulus or situation'.

Attitudes are formed through

  • Experiences - both positive and negative
  • Attitudes of the people around us

Triadic model of attitude formation

There are three components which make up our attitude formation:

  • Cognitive - What you believe to be true (may not actually be true!)
  • Affective - Your feelings or emotional response
  • Behavioural - Your intended behaviour dependant on your attitude
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Attitudes 2

Cognitive Dissonance

A mismatch in the triadic model (above) will cause a dissonance (imbalance) in the mind of the person being persuaded due to the introduction of new information affecting the cognitive (belief) or affective (emotional) component. The only way to reduce this imbalance is to change their behaviour

Changing an attitude using persuasive communication

  • The message - should be clear
  • The messenger - more effective if it is an expert/ significant other
  • Characteristics of the recipiant - the degree of resistance
  • Situation - depends on time and resources etc
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Personality 1

Personality - The psychological structures and processes that determine a persons actions and reactions to the environment.

The following are methods by which personality can be measured:

  • Interviews
  • Questionnaires
  • Observation

Trait theory - there are certain characteristics that we are born with that influence the way we behave, they are stable, enduring and generalisble characteristics.

Eysenck's theory - a person has two dimensions of personality, they are either stable or unstable AND introvert or extrovert.

The narrow band approach - is a more straightforward approach to personality which states that every person has either a Type A or Type B personality.

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Personality 2

Type A: Impatient; highly strung; intolerant; high stress levels

Type B: Relaxed, tolerant; low stress levels

Bandura social learning theory - personality is learnt through our experiences, observing those around us and imitating their behaviour.

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Anxiety - Negative feelings caused by an increase in arousal levels when the performer is faced with a situation where they feel threatened or fear faliure

Somatic symptoms - shaking, sweating, increased heart rate and breathing, nausea

Cognative symptoms - negative thoughts, poor concentration, perceptual narrowing

State Anxiety - The athletes emotional state at any given time - variable from situation to situation, often temporary.

Trait Anxiety - Part of personality, tendency to be fearful of unfamiliar situations and percieve competetive situations as threatening.

Performers with a higher trait anxiety will have a state anxiety

Sports Competition Anxiety Test (SCAT) - measures an athletes levels of anxiety.

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A percieved inability to cope with demands, causing an increase in arousal.

Arousal - 'A state of readiness to perform that helps motivate individuals'

Eustress - 'A positive reaction of a performer to stress, leading to optimal arousal'

Distress - 'A negative reaction of the performer to stress leading to inappropriate arousal'

Stressors - This is the situation that causes the stressful response.

  • Importance to win
  • Injury
  • Officials
  • Time
  • Threat to self-esteem
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Groups and Teams 1

Team: "Two or more persons interacting with one another and influencing each other" (Shaw, 1976)

Group: "Has a collective identity, sharing a common purpose with structured communication patterns" (Carron, 1980)

The following equation was produced by Steiner (1972) to demonstrate the relationship between performance of the team and the individuals:

Actual productivity = best potential productivity - losses due to faulty processes

These faulty processes can be divided into two groups:

Co-ordination problems:

Tactics and plays involving more than one individual (most in team sports!) are subject to problems due to a lack or co-ordination. Examples include making a run too early or a poorly times pass.

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Groups and Teams 2

Motivational problems:

Team performances often result in individuals performing below their best, there are two theories as to why this is often the case:

The Ringlemann effect:

Research has demonstrated that a team does not usually work as many times better than the number of individuals within the team. For example, a tug of war team containing 6 members, may not perform 6 times better than an individual. This is due to:

Social loafing:

Team players loose the motivation to work as hard because their efforts are not clear and a good performance is not wholly dependant on their performance.

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Cohesion and Performance

Cohesion: The reason that a group of people have come together and the resistance to the group breaking up

Two types of cohesion may be present in different teams:

Task oriented cohesion: The team exists and survives in order to be successful at the chosen sport. Everyone in the team has the same goal

Social oriented cohesion: The team exists and survives due to the social relationships and interactions within the team. Results do not really matter, enjoyment is key to the teams survival

Task-oriented teams have a higher potential for success than social oriented teams. This is especially clear in sports such as football and basketball, as opposed to badminton and athletics.

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A state of physical and mental prepardness for action.

Drive Theory - There is a linear relationship between arousal and performance. As arousal levels go up so does performance (the dominant response)

Inverted-U Hypothesis - There is an optimum level of arousal for a good performance. The performers performance increases with arousal until the optimum point where it then starts to decrease again. For begginners, introverts and fine skills this optimum point is reached at a lower level of arousal and for experts, extroverts and gross skills this optimum point is reached at a higher level of arousal.

Catastrophe Theory - As arousal increases so does performance up until an optimum point beyond which performance decreases rapidly.

Attentional narrowing - As the performer becomes more aroused they focus more on relevant cues and signals. If arousal is too high perceptual narrowing ocurs and other important cues are missed.

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