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Personality and Sport Performance. September 3, 2002. Definitions. “The sum total of an individual’s characteristics which make him/her unique ” (Hollander, 1971) Collection of traits; consistent Construct of personality (Hollander, 1971; Martens, 1975). Structure of personality.

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  • “The sum total of an individual’s characteristics which make him/her unique” (Hollander, 1971)
  • Collection of traits; consistent
  • Construct of personality (Hollander, 1971; Martens, 1975)
structure of personality
Structure of personality
  • Psychological core
  • Typical responses
  • Role-related behaviors
  • All are influenced by the social environment
    • Role-related behaviors most influenced by environment
psychological core
Psychological Core
  • Indicative of what the person is “really” like
  • Basic attitudes, values, etc.
  • Centerpiece of personality
  • Most difficult to change
  • We would want to understand this to make any further assumptions about a person
typical responses
Typical Responses
  • Usual manner in which we respond to different environmental situations
  • Frustration, anxiety, humor, etc.
  • We use a person’s typical responses to determine their psychological core
  • May be based on one-time response
role related behavior
Role-Related Behavior
  • Most superficial aspect of personalities
  • Engage in these behaviors to fit the environment we perceive
  • As our perceptions change, our superficial behaviors change
  • Not a good indicator of a person’s psychological core
problems with personality structure
Problems with Personality Structure
  • What is influence of underlying personality?
  • If a person can act so differently based on situation, how much influence does personality really have?
theories of personality
Theories of Personality
  • Hippocratic/physiological
  • Psychodynamic
  • Social Learning
  • Trait Theories
  • Interactionist
hippocrates physiological
  • Hippocrates (400 B.C.)
    • personalities based on 4 bodily humors (black bile, yellow bile, blood, and phlegm)
  • Phrenology
    • Bumps on skull
  • Physiognomy
    • What animal does the face most closely resemble?
  • Freud was the most renowned psychodynamic theorist
  • Free association
  • Personality explained through three components
    • Id
    • Ego
    • Superego
components of personality
Components of Personality
  • Id
    • Irrational; operates from “pleasure principle”
    • Usually sexual or aggressive instincts
  • Ego
    • Logical, reality-oriented
  • Superego
    • Conscience, internalized moral standards
defense mechanisms for ego
Defense Mechanisms for Ego
  • If too much conflict exists between the three parts of the personality, ego may have to “defend itself”
  • Repression
  • Rationalization
  • Projection
  • Displacement
social learning
Social Learning
  • Human behavior is a function of social learning and the strength of the situation
  • Behave as we learned how
  • Effect of personality traits should be minimal
  • Based on stimulus-response theory
  • Stimulus-->organism-->response
social learning14
Social Learning
  • Two primary mechanisms through which individuals learn socially:
    • Modeling
    • Social reinforcement
  • Bandura’s social learning theory (1963)
  • Imitative behavior/vicarious learning
  • Vicarious learning requires:
    • An observer
    • Actor who serves as the model for the behavior
    • Modeling cues (components of model’s behavior)
  • Bobo Doll Study (1965)
  • Examples in sport (LLWS, etc.)
social reinforcement
Social Reinforcement
  • Rewarded behaviors are more likely to be repeated
  • Verbal/nonverbal communication may affect response
  • Positive reinforcement (give a positive)
  • Negative reinforcement (remove a negative)
  • Punishment (apply a negative)
trait theories
Trait Theories
  • How do people with varying degrees of traits tend to behave?
  • Traits = relatively stable characteristics exhibited over time & across situation
  • Typically generalizable & used to predict behavior in a variety of situations
  • Convergence indicates expression of a trait (shyness, anxiety, etc.)
trait theories18
Trait Theories
  • States = Feelings and thoughts related to a particular time and/or situation
  • Anxious before competition
  • Trait theories widely researched, but generally criticized
  • Mischel (1968) argued people do not behave as predictably as trait theorists suggest--situations influence
  • Traits do play some role (and predispose for states)
interactionist theory
Interactionist Theory
  • Person and environment both interact to create human behavior
  • Personality is exerted in some places and not in others (e.g., hockey player)
  • Behavior expectancies are significant, but stresses individual differences (how much does an individual value a reward)
  • Recognizes potential influence of personality & situation
assessing personality
Assessing Personality
  • Three major techniques for assessment
  • Sometimes linked with specific theories:
    • Rating scales
    • Unstructured projective tests
    • Questionnaires
rating scales
Rating Scales
  • Use of a judge to observe individual in some situation
  • Checklist or scale (maximum objectivity)
  • Interview or observation of performance
  • If performed properly (well-trained & systematic), can be reliable & valid
unstructured projective procedures
Unstructured Projective Procedures
  • Used to identify traits (or motives)
  • Allow subjects to reveal inner feelings & motives
  • Closely associated with psychoanalytic
  • Rorschach Test (1954), Thematic Apperception Test (1947), Sentence Completion Test (1954)
structured questionnaires
Structured Questionnaires
  • Pencil-and-paper, T/F, Likert-type scales
  • Some designed for abnormal, some normal
  • MMPI (hypochondriasis, depression, hysteria, masc.-fem., lying)
  • Cattell 16 PF (introversion-extroversion, anxiety, tough-mindedness, and independence)
  • Athletic Motivation Inventory (leadership, aggression, trust, coachability, etc.)
use in sport
Use in Sport
  • Rating scales & projective procedures not used frequently in sport/exercise
  • Questionnaires (16 PF) used more often to help athletes identify strengths & weaknesses
  • Used to develop intervention strategies & identify athlete belief system regarding their personalities
credulous vs skeptical
Credulous Vs. Skeptical
  • Two schools of thought
  • Credulous
    • Personality can be used to predict athletic success
  • Skeptical
    • Value of personality is minimal