A2 PE Psychology unit definitions

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An individual's predisposition to behave in a certain way.
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Interactionaist theory
An explanation of behaviour that assumes that our personality depends on our traits and on the environment.
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Innate, enduring personality characteristics that allow behaviour to be predicted.
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Talent-identification programme
A systematic method of identifying and selecting those who have the ability or qualities to progress further to a higher competitive level.
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Profile of Mood States
A way of measuring the moods of those who participate in sport.
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Iceberg profile
The POMs profile that is associated with successful athletes.
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Achievement Motivation theory
The theory that an individual's behaviour is determined by their interaction with the environment and their desire to succeed.
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Need to Achieve
The motivation to succeed or attain particular goals; people with nAch type personalities show approach behaviours.
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Need to Avoid Failure
The motivation to avoid failure; people with Naf-type personalities show avoidance behaviours.
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Ego orientated
Interpreting success as a sign of superiority over others.
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Task orientated
Interpreting success as playing well.
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The state of general prepardness of the body for action, involving physiological and psychological factors.
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Peak flow
A state in which the performance is at its best, achieved without thought, effortlessly and with total confidence.
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Drive theory
A theory of arousal that proposes a linear relationship between arousal and performance; as arousal increases so does the quality of performance.
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Inverted U theory
A theory of arousal that considers that optimal performance occurs when the performer reaches an optimal level of arousal.
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Catastrophe theory
A theory that predicts a rapid decline in performance resulting from the combination of high cognitive anxiety and increasing somatic anxiety.
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Attentional narrowing
Focusing on too narrow a range of information or on the performance of a skill; this causes the performer to ignore important cues or information.
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Reversal theory
The proposal that whether a performer views arousal as pleasant (or unpleasant) is likely to have a positive (or negative) impact on performance.
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Zone of optimal functioning
The area between the upper and the lower levels of arousal within which optimal performance takes place.
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Evaluation apprehension
A sense of anxiety caused by a performer's thinking that their performance is being watched and judged by somebody.
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Social facilitation
The benefical influence of the presence of others on performance.
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Social inhibition
Decrease in performance due to the presence of others.
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Cognitive anxiety
Thoughts, nervousness, apprehension or worry that a performer has about their lack of ability to complete a task successfully.
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Somatic anxiety
Physiological responses to a situation where a performer feels that they may be unable to cope; symptoms include increased heart rate, sweaty plams, muscle tension and feelings of nausea.
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State anxiety
Anxiety felt in a particular situation.
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Trait anxiety
An enduring personality trait, giving a tendency to view all situations as threatening.
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Creating mental images to escape the immediate effects of stress.
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The process of creating a mental image of what you want to happen or feel.
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Attentional control
Maintaining concentration on appropriate cues.
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Positive self-talk
Developing positive thoughts about one's actions.
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Conditioning the mind to think of alternatives to the anxiety-causing negavtive thought.
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Information about changed in physiological variables; the patient watches a monitor displaying changes in readingsa of variables associated with somatic anxiety and tries to lower the reading by distracting attention away from the cause of anxiety.
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Breathing control
Using diaphragmatic breathing as a means of focusing on relaxation.
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Progressive Muscular relaxation
Learning to be aware of the tension present in muscles and removing it be relaxing.
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Using deep breathing as a way of refocusing your concentration.
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Goal Setting
A technique used to control anxiety by directing attention away from stress and towards an achievable target.
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In sport, behaviour intended to harm another person, physically or psychologically, outside the laws of the game.
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The percieved cause of an event as given by a participant.
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A complex mix of feelings, beliefs and values that predisposes somebody to behave towards something or someone in a consistent way.
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Attitude Object
A person, event or behaviour towards which a person has an attitude.
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A preformed opinion or judgement of someone, based on irrational, incomplete or inaccurate stereotypical views.
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Social Norm
A rule that is socially enforced, or a standard of behaviour; can apply to appropriate or inappropriate values, beliefs or attitudes.
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Triadic model
A hypothetical, testable proposition that holds that attitudes are made up of three components - cognitive, affective and behavioural.
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The collective name for the means of mass communication of information, usually taken ot mean television, newspapers and radio.
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Attitude scale
A form of questionnaire design used in questionnaires to guage an individual's attitudes; using a pre-set scale of measurement, the respondent is asked to agree or disagree with a set of statements.
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Likert scale
A method of attitude measurement involving a number of statements with which respondents are asked to agree or disagree by choosing one of five positions.
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Cognitive dissonance
Tension resulting from having contradictory thoughts or beliefs about something or someone.
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Persuasive communication
An active, non-coercive attempt to reinforce, modify or change the attitude of others.
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Assertive behaviour
The use of physical force that is within the rules or ethics of a sport and is trherefore legitimate.
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Channelled aggression
Feelings of aggression that are diverted into useful, powerful actions.
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The release of pent-up emotions or feelings of aggression through harmless channels, such as physical and emotional activity of sport.
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Locus of causality
The internal/external factors that a performer believes caused an event or an outcome.
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Stablitiy dimension
The stable/unstable factors that a performer believes caused an event or outcome.
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Locus of control
The extent to which a performer believes that the outcome was within their control (or not).
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Self-serving bias
The tendency to attribute success to internal factors and losses or failures to external factors; protects our self-esteem.
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Learned helplessness
The state that occurs when a performer believes that failure is inevitable and that they have no way of changing that outcome.
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Attribution retraining
Methods of helping their performer to change the way that they explain the causes of success and failure; in the case of failure, they are encouraged to focus on factors that can be controlled.
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A person's belief in their ability to achieve success.
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Performance accomplishments
Previous success at the task.
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Vicarious experience
Watching others of similar standard successfully perform a skill.
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Verbal persuasion
Encouragement from significant others.
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Emotional arousal
Perceiving physiological arousal as indicating emotion.
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Two or more individuals interacting with each other - or connected to each other via social relationships - often with a common objective.
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A chart showing the inter-relationships within a group.
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Group Dynamics
The study of, and a general term for, the interactive processes that occur between people in a group.
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The dynamic forces that cause a team to stick together.
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Task cohesion
Found in a group that is bound together in a drive to achieve a common objective, a focus on the task.
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Social choesion
Found in a group that is bound together by social bonds, social attractiveness and relationships.
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Ringlemann effect
The diminishing contribution of each individual as group sizes increases.
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Social loafing
Loss of individual effort in a group due to a reduction in motivation.
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Prescribed leader
A leader who is appointed by an external source.
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Emergent leader
A leader who comes from within the group through possession of some skills.
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Task-orientated leader
A leader who concentrates on setting goals and completing the task as quickly as possible.
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Person-orientated leader
A leader who concentrates on developing interpersonal relations within the group.
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Autocratic style of leadership
In sport, a style that is usually win orientated, very structured and task orientated.
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Democratic style of leadership
In sport, a style that is athlete centred, cooperative and person orientated.
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Laissez-faire style of leadership
The leader makes few decisions, provides little feedback and lets the group do as it wishes.
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Preferred behaviour
Behaviour of the leader that is demanded by the group members.
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Required behaviour
Behaviour of the leader that is demanded by the situation.
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Actual behaviour
The behaviour shown by the leader.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


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


Interactionaist theory

Card 3


Innate, enduring personality characteristics that allow behaviour to be predicted.


Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4


A systematic method of identifying and selecting those who have the ability or qualities to progress further to a higher competitive level.


Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5


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


Preview of the back of card 5
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