Mind Map by Hannah96, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by Hannah96 over 5 years ago


A Levels PE Mind Map on Arousal, created by Hannah96 on 09/25/2014.

Resource summary

1 Arousal is a physiological state of alertness and anticipation which prepares the body for action.
1.1 The level of arousal is controlled by the Reticular Activating System (RAS), which interprets the level of stimulation entering the body and initiates an appropriate response.
2 Drive Theory
2.1 Suggests that there is a linear relationship between arousal and performance.
2.2 The diagram shows that as the level of arousal increases, so does performance. Therefore the more aroused a performer becomes the better the performance.
2.3 Spence & Spence adapted the theory, proposing that the performers Dominant Habit or Response would be more evident as their arousal levels increased.
2.3.1 Expressed as: Performance = Function (Dominant Habit or Response x Drive or Level of Arousal) The effect of arousal on performance is therefore linked to the task and the experience of the performer.
2.4 Suggested that as arousal increases the following will occur: An experienced performer will complete the skill well because their dominant habit is well learned, An inexperienced performer will execute the skill poorly as their dominant habit isn't well learned.
2.5 Critics question some of the proposals as thy don't explain the reasons why skilled performers in the autonomous phase of learning often fail to complete skills in situations of high arousal.
2.5.1 E.g. A professional player will make plenty of easy mistakes, such as missing a penalty or dropping a catch. According to the theory, an increased level of arousal should help the players performance not cause it to deteriorate. It also takes no account of different types of arousal which may occur, such as somatic or cognitive anxiety.
3 Catastrophe Theory
3.1 Suggests an increase in cognitive arousal will improve performance, but if over-arousal occurs one of two options may take place:
3.1.1 If arousal levels drop slightly, caused by an increase in cognitive anxiety, a performer could recover sufficiently and regain their optimal arousal level. This may be achieved using supportive words from a coach or teammates, as well as implementation of effective stress management techniques.
3.1.2 If arousal levels continue to increase, both in terms of cognitive anxiety and somatic anxiety, the performer will not be able to recover and a catastrophe will occur. Their performance will continue to decline and the performer won't be able to recover.
4 Inverted-U Theory
4.1 Proposes that as arousal levels increase, so does the level of performance, but only up to an optimum point. The optimum point is usually reached at moderate levels of arousal. After this point further increases will cause the performance to deteriorate.
4.2 A: Under Aroused - Performer may show a lack of concentration and attention. B: Moderate Level of Arousal - optimal level of arousal, good selective attention and level of concentration. C: Over-Aroused - Performer may loose focus, miss cues, make poor decisions, possibly display aggressive behaviour.
4.3 Each individual will have a different optimal level of arousal. Several factors need to be considered beforehand.
4.3.1 Nature of Task: Skills that are classified as complex or involve fine muscle movement require a lower level of arousal than those of gross or simple nature.
4.3.2 Skill Level of the Performer: Performers who are experienced may be able to cope with higher levels of arousal as their movements are autonomous; in comparison, novice performers are need to focus more carefully on relevant cues. E.g. A novice basketball player will need to concentrate on the basic shooting action and may become over-aroused when faced with a defender, whereas an experienced player will be able to execute the skill under such pressure. Rugby players, such as Jonny Wilkinson, may have to change their level of arousal from moment to moment as they may be required to execute a tackle and immediately afterwards attempt a penalty kick. each skill requires a different level of arousal and unless the performer can make these adjustments, their performance may deteriorate.
4.3.3 Personality of the Performer: Performers who are more extrovert tend to be able to cope more effectively with higher levels of arousal and excitement when compared to introverted individuals.
4.4 A weakness of this theory is that it doesn't explain how an individual may become over-aroused at some point during the performance yet still recover sufficiently to compete effectively. It assumes that when over-arousal occurs performance will continue to deteriorate.
5 Zone of Optimal Functioning
5.1 Each individual has a ZOF. Rather than occurring at the mid point of the arousal continuum and at a specific point, there is an optimal band width or area in which the performer achieves their maximum attention capacity.
5.2 When in the zone athletes often experience the feelings of movement being effortless, without conscious control, the ability to select the correct cues and make decisons quickly and effectively, in addition to remaining focused on the task without being disracted by other players or the audience.
5.3 This concept differs to the Inverted U theory as; The optimum level of arousal doesn't always occur at the midpoint of the arousal continuum. variable factors such as the situation and the performer will cause the ZOF to alter. The optimum level of arousal doesn't occur at a specific point.
5.4 Implications are that work must be done to allow the individual to recognise when they are both within and outside the ZOF, either needing to relax or become more psyched up. Critics claim that it doesn't differentiate between cognitive and somatic anxiety. Also some studies have found that there is no significant difference in performance whether the athlete is in their zone or not.
6 Attentional Narrowing
6.1 Every performer needs to ensure they are selecting the appropriate cues and make the correct decisions quickly. The Cue Utilisation Theory suggests that we detect cues required to complete the task successfully. However if arousal increases, the performer may begin to miss vital cues which will lead to a reduction in performance.
6.2 Attentional Narrowing links arousal levels directly to the individuals ability to focus on relevent cues. If the performer reaches their optimum arousal level, they will identify with the appropriate cues, but over-arousal will hinder the process.
6.2.1 As attentional narrowing continues, vital cues will be missed, known as Attentional Wastage, leading to a decrease in performance. E.g. A basketball player may not detect a teammate in an open shooting position or may fail to see a defender closing down his space as he moves in to shoot.
6.3 Attentional Wastage occurs when the performers concentration is misdirected to cues that are irrelevant, causing a decrease in performance.
6.3.1 E.g. As the performer becomes over-aroused during a game of basketball, they may listen to shouts from the crowd rather than focus on the position of players on the court.
7 Peak Flow Experience
7.1 This is when performers experience a situation where everything is going perfectly. They are experiencing the ultimate intrinsic experience.
7.2 Common Characteristsics are: Total ability to complete the challenge successfully. Complete absorption in the activity, Clear goals, Totally focused on task, Apparant loss of consciousness, An almost sub-conscious feeling of self control, Effortless movement.
7.3 Although this cannot be consciously palnned for, the devlopment of flow has been linked to the following factors: Positive mental attitude with high levels of confidence and positive thinking, The performer being relaxed, controlling anxiety, and enjoying optimum arousal, Focussing on appropriate specific aspects of teh current performance, Confidence in personal physical readiness, Optimum environment and situational conditions, A shared sense of purpose, Performer has a balanced emotional state.
7.4 It suggests there is a link between cognitive and somatic arousal. When the performer has reached correct level of somatic arousal and the cognitive arousal is low, Peak Flow is more liekly to occur.
7.5 By focusing on aspects of their preparation which can help their development, elite performers can increase the probability of the 'Flow Experience' occuring. As a result it can be argued that the psychological preparation of an athlete is just as important as physiological performance.
7.6 A number of factors may interfere with the experience, resulting in disrupted flow. Such factors include: Injury, Fatigue, Crowd Hostility, Uncontrollable events, Worrying about the end result, Lack of challenge, Not at optimal arousal levels, Limited cohesion within the group, Negative self talk, Poor officials, Poor prepartion, Poor performance.
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