ERIC Number: ED259240
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Effects of Cognitive Interventions on Sports Anxiety and Performance.
Murphy, Shane M.; Woolfolk, Robert L.
Oxendine (1970) hypothesized that the arousal-performance relationship varies across tasks, such that gross motor activities will require high arousal for optimal performance while fine motor activities will be facilitated by low arousal, but adversely affected by high arousal. Although the effects of preparatory arousal on strength performance has been well investigated, no study has examined the effect of preparatory arousal on a fine motor skill. A motor skill accuracy task involving fine muscle coordination (putting a golf ball) was used to study the effects of two different cognitive interventions on sports competition anxiety and performance in 61 undergraduates, 19 of whom were highly anxious in competitive sporting situations. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions: (1) a cognitive-behavioral stress reduction group; (2) a psyching-up arousal group; or (3) a control group. All subjects completed the putting task pre- and post-intervention. The results indicated that the cognitive-behavioral stress reduction group showed significantly greater reductions in anxiety during performance than did the other two groups. A nonsignificant trend emerged on performance scores such that only subjects in the psyching-up arousal group failed to improve their performance pre- to post-test. The findings provide some evidence that arousal-inducing interventions not appropriate to the target task can adversely affect performance. (NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (92nd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 24-28, 1984). Best copy available.