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Emotion and Anxiety in Sport. Chapter 6 Hagger & Chatzisarantis. Definition of terms. Affect. Mood. Emotion. Anger. Anxiety. Mood states. Happiness. Guilt. Arousal and Anxiety. Definition of Anxiety

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Emotion and Anxiety in Sport

Chapter 6 Hagger & Chatzisarantis

definition of terms
Definition of terms






Mood states



arousal and anxiety
Arousal and Anxiety

Definition of Anxiety

  • Negative, maladaptive emotional state characterised by nervousness, worry, and apprehension with concomitant physiological activation
  • Associated with an inability to cope with environmental stressors

(Hagger & Chatzisarantis, 2005)

arousal and anxiety4
Arousal and Anxiety

Multidimentionality Anxiety Theory (CSAI-2; Martens et al., 1990)

  • Cognitive Anxiety = Perceptions related to state of anxiety e.g. “worried”, “anxious”
  • Somatic Anxiety = Physiological symptoms of anxiety e.g. butterflies in stomach, galvanic skin response
  • Self-Confidence = Positive emotional statements regarding future performance e.g. confident, positive
example items from csai 2
Example Items from CSAI-2

Following are several statements that athletes have used to describe their feelings before competition. Think of a competition in which you have recently participated. Read each statement and then tick the appropriate box to the right of the statement to indicate how you felt at that moment. There are no right or wrong answers. Don’t spend too much time on any one statement, but choose the answer that best describes your feelings at that particular time. (Please tick one box)

arousal and anxiety6
Arousal and Anxiety

Definition of Arousal

General physiological and psychological activation varying from deep sleep to intense excitation

  • State Anxiety = Feelings of nervousness, worry and apprehension in a given situation, changeable
  • Trait Anxiety = General disposition that results in a person interpreting objectively non-threatening events as threatening and results in a disproportionately high anxiety response
arousal and anxiety7
Arousal and Anxiety




Trait Anxiety

State Anxiety

Cognitive State Anxiety


Somatic State Anxiety

mediational model of hierarchical anxiety and performance
Mediational Model of Hierarchical Anxiety and Performance




State Somatic Anxiety

Competitive Trait Anxiety

State Cognitive Anxiety

Sport Performance

State Self-Confidence

the role of stress
The Role of Stress

Definition of Stress

“A substantial imbalance between demand and response capability, under conditions where failure to meet that demand has important consequences”

McGrath (1970, p.20)

anxiety performance relationship
Anxiety-Performance Relationship

How does anxiety affect performance

Is it a clear negative effect?

  • Craft et al. (2003) conducted a meta-analysis across 29 studies
  • Found small corrected relationships:
  • Cognitive anxiety (b = -.13, p < .05)
  • Somatic anxiety (b = -.09, p < .05)
  • Self-confidence (b = .36, p < .05)
anxiety and performance
Anxiety and Performance

Drive Theory





Physiological Arousal

Spence and Spence (1966)

anxiety and performance12
Anxiety and Performance

The ‘Inverted-U’ Hypothesis








Physiological Arousal

Landers and Boutcher (1986)

anxiety and cognition
Anxiety and Cognition

How does anxiety affect sports performance?

White (1998): High-ego, low-task competitors interpreted competitive situations as anxiety-provoking

Dickson and McLeod (2004): Avoidance goals most strongly associated with increased cognitive anxiety

Yoo (2003): Intervention to induce a task-oriented motivational climate reduced cognitive and somatic anxiety levels

intensity and direction in anxiety jones et al 1992 1993 1995
Intensity and Direction in Anxiety(Jones et al., 1992, 1993, 1995)

Anxiety alone not as important as INTERPRETATION of anxiety

Two dimensions of anxiety

  • Intensity = Degree of state anxiety experienced by athlete in a given situation
  • Direction = Evaluation of anxiety as being positive and helping performance (facilitative) or negative and harmful to performance (debilitative)
intensity and direction in anxiety jones et al 1992 1993 199515
Intensity and Direction in Anxiety(Jones et al., 1992, 1993, 1995)
  • No differences in ‘levels’ / ‘intensity’ of anxiety
  • Elite or ‘expert’ athletes tended to view anxiety as facilitative
  • Strong relationships in Gymnasts and Swimmers between facilitative interpretation and performance

(Jones and Swain, 1992; Jones, Swain and Hardy, 1993)

promoting a facilitative interpretation
Promoting a Facilitative Interpretation
  • Interviewed competitive swimmers and tested their anxiety levels and DIRECTION prior to competition
  • Interviews revealed key strategies among those with high-facilitative interpretations:
  • Activation (mantras, visualisation)
  • Restructuring (positive thoughts, reinterpreting)
  • Confidence-building (imagery, training log)
  • Relaxation (imagery, PNF)
  • (Hanton and Jones, 1999a; 1999b)
hardy s 1990 catastrophe theory
Hardy’s (1990)Catastrophe Theory


Low cognitive anxiety





High cognitive anxiety




Physiological Arousal

individualised optimal zone of functioning izof
Individualised Optimal Zone of Functioning (IZOF)

In Zone

(Best Performance)

Out of Zone

Out of Zone

Athlete A

(Low IZOF)

Athlete B



Out of Zone

In Zone

(Best Performance)

Out of Zone

Out of Zone

Out of Zone

In Zone

(Best Performance)

Athlete C

(High IZOF)

State Anxiety Level

Hanin (1980, 1986, 1997)

mood states in sport
Mood States in Sport

“Mood” is often considered a series of emotional states that are less intense and more enduring that emotions

Morgan (1980): Use the POMS to produce an “Iceberg Profile” for elite performers

Cockerill et al. (1999): POMS explained little variance in sport performance

Rowley et al. (1995): Iceberg profile consistent across performers, but effect on performance small (d = .15)

morgan s 1980 iceberg profile
Morgan’s (1980) Iceberg Profile

Successful Performer



Less- Successful Performer










mood states in sport21
Mood States in Sport

Beedie et al. (2000): Made distinction between “absolute” and “relative” performance in sport – Rowley did not – and found:

Absolute performance: d = .10 (small)

Relative performance: d = .31 (medium)

Also found moderate effect sizes for individual scales, positive for “vigour” and negative for “tension” and “depression”

Important to make distinctions between mood components

implications for practice
Implications for Practice
  • Identify optimal arousal for best performance
  • Recognise the interaction between personal and situational factors in producing anxiety response
  • Recognise signs of increased arousal
  • Develop confidence in performers to help cope with anxiety
  • Foster a task involved motivational climate
  • Cognitive reappraisal techniques