Key Definitions for Arousal

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  • Created by: Katie D
  • Created on: 26-05-11 19:09

Key Definitions for Arousal

Arousal - the state of general preparedness of the body for action, involving physiological and psychological factors.

Peak Flow - a state at which the performance is at its best, achieved without thought, effortlessly and with total confidence.

Somatic signs - physiological signs of high levels of arousal. E.g. Incearsed heart rate, increased breathing, sweating, cold clammy hands, butterflies in stomach, feeling of nausea, increased muscle tension etc.

Cognitive signs - psychological signs of high levels of arousal. E.g. increased focus and concentration, heightened awareness of important cues in the environment, narrowing attention, decreased reaction time.

the performer can become too highly aroused and can exhibit signs of anxiety and apprehension, tension, negative self-talk, difficulties sleeping, inability to concentrate, feelings of fear and anger.  

Drive theory - a theory of arousal that proposes a linear relationship between arousal and performance; as arousal increases so does the quality of performance.

Dominant response - the drive theory states that higher levels of arousal, such as are found in competition, would intensify the dominant response. For an expert, the dominant response is likely to be habitual and the correct one and performance would be improved. For a beginner, the dominant response may be incorrect or inaccurate and a higher


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