A Level PE - Personality

  • Created by: hotzmc
  • Created on: 29-12-17 19:02

A Level PE - Personality:

Personality: An individuals unique characteristics which make them behave differently in sporting situations

  • Unique characteristics of an individual 
  • Knowledge about personality is important to ensure optimum sporting performance
  • Personality has been defined as the sum total of an individuals characteristics which makes them unique

Three Personality Theories:

  1. Trait theory
  2. Social Learning Theory
  3. Interactionist Theory

Trait Theory:

Trait theory’s definition of personality: Personality represents those characteristics of a person that account for consistent patterns of their behaviour.

Two Main Assumptions:

  1. An individuals personality is made up of key characteristics or traits that are stable, enduring and unique to the person
  2. The characteristics or traits are genetic in nature, you’re born with them
  • People will always behave a certain way in a given situation because of underlying traits
  • This gives us an underlying predisposition to act in a particular way each time a situation occurs
  • Personality is innate and determines our behaviour
  • E.g. a person who gets nervous easily will always get nervous before a match, a.k.a competitive state anxiety
  • Most do accept that traits exist, but behaviour can also be affected by a situation

Evaluation of Trait Theory:

  • Lacks sophistication
  • Has problems validity
  • Seen as too simple & produces a limited point of view of what personality is
  • Fails to recognise that people are actively involved in constructing their own personalities
  • Fails to recognise the effect of the environment in certain situations 
  • Is useful in helping to explain why people have chosen to play certain sports, but is less useful at predicting success
  • The idea that traits are enduring is seen as too long term - people think personality factors change with time

T Social Learning Theory:

  • Personality changes with the situation and the environment influences behaviour
  • Explains behaviour in terms of reaction to specific situations
  • We learn to deal with situations by observing others or by observing the results of our behaviour on others
  • And by modelling our behaviour on what we have seen


  • Sport has a socialising effect
  • Participation in sport establishes norms and values of our society


  • There is social comparison
  • A person will behave the same way as a peer


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