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Stress, Anxiety & Performance

Stress, Anxiety & Performance

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Stress, Anxiety & Performance

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  1. Stress, Anxiety & Performance

  2. Definitions • Arousal • Stress • Anxiety • State • Trait • Cognitive • Somatic • Physiological Arousal • Activation What is somatic anxiety, how does it differ from physiological arousal, and does this make sense? (note: William James thought deeply about this in 1890)

  3. Side note – James & emotion • James on free will (and perhaps emergence) • James on emotion Just a little contrast with what comes later – see Wenger Cause and effect might not be as simple as you imagine

  4. Anxiety, arousal, & Performance • So, there’s lots of kinds of arousal and anxiety. • How are they related to performance? • There are several theories • First, how do you think they are related to performance? • Think about it…how do anxiety and arousal regulate performance for you?

  5. Anxiety & Performance • Making a start: • Drive theory (Hull & Spence, 1943; Zajonc, 1965)

  6. Anxiety & Performance • Next (for us, not in the research chronology): • The “Inverted-U hypothesis” & “Zones of optimal functioning” (ZoF)

  7. Anxiety & Performance • Multidimensional anxiety theory • based on the distinction between cognitive anxiety and somatic anxiety. The theory predicts: • a negative but linear relationship between cognitive anxiety and performance • an inverted U relationship between somatic anxiety and performance • Somatic anxiety should decline once performance begins but cognitive anxiety may remain high if confidence is low • ...hasn’t really got much support...yet

  8. Anxiety & Performance • Catastrophe Theory (Hardy & Fazey, 1987) One example of the many models posited – the general idea is one of higher order interactions (seems intuitively appealing to me)

  9. Anxiety & Performance • Catastrophe Theory/Models A model showing hysteresis – a non-linear approach to the arousal performance relationship (this just illustrates one of the predictions of catastrophe theory)

  10. Anxiety & Performance • Catastrophe Theory/Models • Current evidence - effect of self-confidence As self-confidence increases...

  11. Anxiety & Performance • Catastrophe Theory/Models • Current evidence - hysteresis effects “Cusp point” “Bifurcation” factor Effort? “Asymmetry” factor

  12. Anxiety & Performance • Catastrophe Theory/Models • Current evidence - hysteresis effects Worry Explanations fit a processing efficiency theory approach (see later) Effort?

  13. Anxiety & Performance • Reversal theory This is one of those theories that tend to excite a lot of new age interests – intuitively appealing and popular in business, but short on explanation

  14. Anxiety & Performance • Interpretation of anxiety states • Gives rise to measuring both intensity and direction of anxiety response • Often, the direction predicts more variance (in performance) than the intensity • Now some look at discrepancies between self-ideals and actual states... • Carver, Lawrence, and Scheier’s (1999) interaction self-discrepancy framework • Higgins’ (1987) self-discrepancy theory

  15. Anxiety & Performance • Interpretation of anxiety states: self-confidence & anxiety • E.g. Beattie, Hardy, Woodman (2004)

  16. Anxiety & Performance • E.g. Beattie, Hardy, Woodman (2004) Step 1: identify these “selves” in terms of levels of self-confidence Step 2: identify actual levels of self-confidence and anxiety prior to competition Step 3: calculate discrepancies Step 4: association of discrepancies with performance& anxiety?

  17. Anxiety & Performance • Anxiety and self-confidence: • Bandura (1986) high self-efficacy implies trying harder • Close to ought/ideal high S-C  better performance than those who are far from ought/ideal (who will have low S-C) • But...Carver & Scheier (1999): discrepancy between actual and ought level of S-C  extra effort to redress discrepancy • Those with higher actual/ought discrepancy should outperform those with little discrepancy 

  18. Anxiety & Performance • Self-confidence and performance, another note:

  19. Anxiety & Performance • Self-confidence and performance, another note: Note decrease in self-confidence, but increase in performance score (no sig. change in the effort measure)

  20. Explanations/Theories • Processing efficiency theory (Eysenck & Calvo, 1992) • Worry: • drains attentional resources (reduced attention available for the task) • Signals importance of task, assigning more attentional resources if deemed necessary • Thus as worry increases, effort can also increase • Implies that cognitive anxiety can be negative (unpleasant), but motivating • (results in extra effort, and thus improved performance, provided eventual success is still believed possible)

  21. Explanations/Theories • Conscious processing hypothesis • Reinvestment of declarative knowledge under high anxiety • Tied to ideas of explicit/implicit learning, use of process vs. outcome goals (see KNR 406) and so on

  22. Anxiety and Performance • Anxiety types, or intensities • Choking vs. panic • Kennedy vs. Novotna (New Yorker, 2000) • Panic is blind fear? • Choking is considered failure? • Choking is the domain of everyone (maybe most spectacularly of the expert?), panic of the inexperienced, perhaps? • Stereotype threat (Beilock et at, 2006) • See conscious reinvestment theories (Masters, et al.)

  23. Anxiety and Performance • ...and working memory

  24. Anxiety and Performance • ...and working memory

  25. Explanations/Theories • Theory of Ironic processing (Wegner, multiple citations) • Cool! • Tricia’s presentation • Ever laid awake in bed and thought: “I mustn't think about that exam, so I can get to sleep” • What happens next?

  26. Explanations/Theories • Theory of Ironic processing (Wegner, multiple citations) • Similar performance expectations to the conscious processing hypothesis • Based on the notion that “free will” is a lot more complicated than one might first think

  27. Explanations/Theories • Theory of Ironic processing (Wegner, multiple citations) • Mental control: intentional operations + ironic monitoring • Under increased mental load...monitoring outweighs operating, people focus on that which they are trying to avoid, and disaster ensues • Another area that has taken off, though not in sports psychology as much as mainstream psychology

  28. Explanations/Theories • Theory of Ironic processing (Wegner, multiple citations) • Operating process: carry out intended actions (conscious/effortful) • Monitoring process: check that all’s well [if not, renew] (unconscious/automatic) • Suppression: operating process searches for distractors, while monitor searches for the unwanted thought • mental load lessens operator function but not monitor, so ironic thoughts pop up even more frequently

  29. Explanations/Theories • Theory of Ironic processing (Wegner, multiple citations)