Individual Differences Arousal
The Type of Activity
A physiological and psychological state of alertness that effects our preparedness for action and resulting performance
A linear relationship between arousal and performance. High arousal levels result in high performance levels. Low arousal levels means poor performance.
It explains how high level performance and high levels of arousal intensifies the dominant response
An elite autonomous performers dominant response is the correct response
It explains high performance in dynamic, explosive and ballistic skills
It doesn't account for personality, ability or nature of the task
Dominant response may not be the correct response for cognitive and associative stages
Performance can deteriorate when arousal levels are high.
Doesn't explain how performers can produce high performance at low arousal levels
Spence and Spence Adapted Drive Theory It allows for individual differences however does not explain why elite athletes suffer deteriorated performance when arousal levels are high
Drive Reduction or Reactive Inhibition - When a goal or task is perceived to have been fulfilled or mastered by a performer then drive is reduced causing decreased motivation and performance.
Inverted U Theory
As arousal increases so does the standard of performance up to the optimum arousal level. If arousal increases beyond this point it will deteriorate. Low levels of arousal lead to poor performance. Does NOT explain a sudden decrease in performance
The Performers Skill Level and Arousal
Cognitive need less arousal levels in order to be able to perform well. Autonomous performers have habitual skills so therefore can deal with higher levels of arousal
Gross Skills - Higher levels of arousal to help psych up the performer . Fine Skills - Need to keep arousal level low so they can perform with control and accuracy
Extrovert - Need higher levels of arousal in order to reach optimum performance low stimulated RAS Introvert - Need lower levels of arousal High stimulated RAS
RAS - Reticular Activating System - In the centre of the brainstem, it regulates levels of arousal, In introverts it is naturally high whilst in Extroverts its naturally low
Accounts for different variables, Optimal arousal changes depending on the skill, Accounts for performance decline at high arousal
Increase and decrease in performance is rarely smooth, No explanation for a sudden decrease in performance, Doesn't explain how some performer just continue to improve, Only considers somatic arousal
As arousal increases so does performance up to an optimal level. If arousal goes beyond the optimum then performance will deteriorate rapidly and dramatically.
Low Somatic Anxiety and High cognitive anxiety is improved performance but when somatic anxiety starts to increase it leads to a decline in performance
Most realistic theory, It explains why performance suddenly declines, also explain how some performers can recover after decline
Some performers on experience a slow decline in performance. It does not take factors such as skill level into account and it is not a proven theory
Somatic Anxiety- Arousal experienced physiologically by the body eg increased heart rate
Cognitive Anxiety - Arousal experience in the mind eg worrying about failing
Peak Flow - When optimum arousal and optimum performance levels are achieved