Sports psychology

  • Created by: Hbrandxx
  • Created on: 21-05-17 11:25

Individual differences: Personality


  • Personality is the sum total of an individuals characteristics which make a human unique.
  • Narrow band theory splits personalities into two types- A and B.
  • Type A- highly competitivity, works fast, strong desire to succeed, likes control, stressed.
  • Type B- non competitive, works slower, lacks desire to succeed, tolerant, less prone to stress.
  • Can help coach be more aware of a player's anxiety and suggest trategies.
  • Knowing about anxiety can lead performer to seek help with state anxiety during sports.

Stable and unstable personality traits:

  • Trait approach- personality is made up of stable/unstable traits.
  • Stable- unchangeable, constant, predictable (e.g. calmness/stressed in most situations).
  • Unstable- changeable, unpredictable (e.g. emotionally aggressive but agression varies).
  • If an individual shows unstable emotional characteristics= neurotic behaviour.
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Individual differences: Personality


  • Affiliate well to other people
  • Outgoing, gregarious and social
  • Become aroused more slowly the extroverts
  • Low sensitivity of the reticular activating system (low levels of arousal).


  • Shy and reserved.
  • Prefer isolation from others.
  • Become aroused more quickly than introverts.
  • High sensitivity of the reticular activating system (naturally high levels of arousal).

Reticular activating system (RAS):

  • Introverts more easily aroused due to the sensitivity of the RAS in the brain= greater likelihood that with increased stimulation the introvert will become over aroused.
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Individual differences: Personality

Social learning and personality:

  • Idea that personality changes with the situation + environment; B = F (E) 
  • Explains why we are like those significant to us, we adopt their personality (role models/family members).

Interactionist approach to personality:

  • Idea that both trait and social learning mould personality; B=F (P+E)
  • Traits interact with environmental factors and affect our personalities/behaviour.
  • Explains why personalities change; shy off court but loud during a game situation.

Hollanders theory:

  • Inner psychological core- unaffected by environment (basic beliefs and values).
  • Middle layer- typical response to certain situations.
  • Outer layer- role related behaviours (behaviour varies depending on circumstances).
  • Around outer layer is the social environment which affects our role-related behaviours.
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Individual differences: Personality

Profile of mood states (POMS):

  • The diagram measures the moods of: tension, depression, anger, vigour, fatigue, confusion.
  • Measures the moods of elite athletes and unsuccessful sports people.
  • Unsuccessful people have moods that are fairly consistent (flat profile).
  • Successful people have all moods, but anger and vigour, at lower levels.
  • Score on vigour are significantly higher= iceberg profile.Image result for profile of mood states
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Individual differences: Personality


  • Normally directed towards a certain situation= predisposition to act in a certain way towards some aspect of a person's environment, including other people.
  • Attitudes are learned rather than innate and tend to be judgemental.
  • If an attitude is based on false info, becomes prejudice (preconceived opinion).
  • Components of attitude (triadic model): beliefs, emotions and behaviour.
  • Beliefs (cognitive element) formed by past experiences, learnt by others.
  • Emotions (affective element) depend on past experiences which influence our likes/dislikes.
  • Behaviour (behavioural element) isn't always consistent with our attitude, e.g. we believe that exercise is good for us but we don't exercise very much.
  • All elements must be consistent for attitude to be stable; interdependance.
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Individual differences: Personality

Attitudes and behaviour:

  • Prejudice can affect behaviour.
  • Prejudice is a prejudgement; someone evaluates a situation without receving adequate info.
  • Prejudice seen in crowd behaviour at matches; pressure for conformity.

Methods of changing attitudes:

  • Persuasive communication efffectiveness depends: the persuader, quality of the message and characteristics of who is being persuaded.
  • Persuader must be of high status, e.g. coach or teacher (promote exercise to non-exercisers).
  • Message must make sense and be believable; info must be accurate and clear.
  • People your persuading must be clever enough to understand the message, may not accept it.
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Individual differences: Personality

Attitudes associated with physical education and sport:

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