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Personality and the Athlete

Personality and the Athlete

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Personality and the Athlete

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  1. Personality and the Athlete What are we made of?

  2. Definitions Personality is the sum total of an individual’s characteristics which make him [or her] unique (Hollander, 1967) A person’s unique pattern of traits (Guilford, 1958) The more or less stable and enduring organization of a person’s character, temperament, intellect, and physique which determines the unique adjustment to the environment (Eysenck, 1960) The dynamic organization within the individual of those psychophysical systems that determine his [or her] unique adjustments to the environment (Allport, 1937)

  3. The “Structure” of Personality Social Environment Role-related behaviors Typical Responses Psychological Core

  4. Personality Theories • Psychodynamic Theories • Social Learning Theory • Humanistic Theory • Trait Theories • Interactional Model • Trait-State Approach

  5. Psychodynamic Theory • Freud, Jung, Fromm, Erickson • Emphasis is on unconscious motives • Behavior is a result of the dynamics among the id, ego and superego • Id: The pleasure-seeking mechanism • Ego: Conscious, logical, reality-oriented aspect of the individual • Superego: The conscience or parent; the internalized moral standards of society • Ego mediates conflict between the id and superego

  6. Social Learning Theory • Clark Hull; B.F. Skinner; Albert Bandura • Behavior is a function of social learning and the strength of the situation • The individual behaves according to how he or she learns to behave • Primary mechanisms of learning are modeling and social reinforcement

  7. Humanistic Theory Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Self- Actualization Self-Esteem Love and Belonging Safety and Security Basic Physiological Needs

  8. Trait Theories • Gordon Allport, Hans Eysenck, Raymond Cattell • Personality can be described in terms of the traits possessed by individuals • A trait represents a predisposition to act in a certain way • Traits are thought to be stable, enduring and consistent across a variety of situations

  9. The “Structure” of Personality Social Environment So, how do we measure something as illusive as personality? Role-related behaviors Typical Responses Psychological Core

  10. Measuring Personality • Rating Scales - Affective Adjective Checklist • Unstructured Projective Techniques - Rorschach Inkblot Test - Thematic Apperception Test • Structured Questionnaires

  11. Structured Questionnaires • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) • Cattell 16 PF - Source traits - Surface traits • Athletic Motivation Inventory (AMI)

  12. Personality and Sport Performance • $64,000 question: Can you predict who will perform better based on personality characteristics? • Credulous vs. Skeptical argument • Athletes vs. non-athletes? • Is there a personality sport type? • Is there a personality type common to different sport positions? • Is there a difference between male and female athletes? • Is there a difference in personality profiles of athletes at different skill levels?

  13. Elite Olympic Increasing Personality Heterogeneity National Increasing Personality Homogeneity Collegiate Scholastic Entry Level

  14. Interactional Model Personality Factors Behavioral factors such as physical and motor ability, not explained by the personality or the situation The Situation Interaction between person and situation

  15. Trait-State Approach • Behavior (performance) is influenced by a combination of personality traits and mood states • P.O.M.S. – Profile of Mood States • Positive mental health profile has been associated with athletic success • Iceberg profile has also been shown to predict successful performance of elite athletes

  16. Paper & Pencil Instruments - Trait • Instrument Variable(s) Assessed • Sport Orientation Questionnaire Competitiveness • Win Orientation • Goal Orientation • Sport Competition Questionnaire Competitive Trait Anxiety • Trait Sport Confidence Inventory Trait Sport Confidence • Test of Attentional & Interpersonal Attentional Focus (6 • Style subscales)

  17. Paper & Pencil Instruments - State • Instrument Variable(s) Assessed • Competitive State Anxiety Cognitive State Anxiety • Inventory - 2 Somatic State Anxiety • Self-Confidence • State Sport Confidence Inventory State Sport Confidence • Profile of Mood States Tension, Depression, • Anger, Vigor, Fatigue, • Confusion

  18. Pre-Competition Mood State

  19. POMS - Individual Assessment