Anxiety, Stress, and Mood
© 2012 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Differentiating Among Terms
Related to Anxiety and Stress
Affect, Emotion, and Anxiety
• Affect – A generic term used to describe
emotions, feelings, and moods.
• Emotion – A situation specific response to
• Anxiety – There are at least 15 specific
manifestations of emotion, of which anxiety
is one important manifestation.
Emotions and Mood
• While emotions are instantaneous discrete
responses to the environment that last only
seconds, minutes, or perhaps hours, moods
are more diffuse, and last for weeks or even
Anxiety and Stress
• Anxiety is a specific emotion that is closely
related to Han Selye’s concept of stress.
• Stress is defined as the “nonspecific
response of the body to any demand placed
upon it.” There are two kinds of stress:
a. Eustress – good stress
b. Distress – bad stress (synonymous to
Multidimensional Nature of
• Trait versus State Dimension
• Cognitive versus Somatic Dimension
Trait versus State Dimension of
• State Anxiety – Immediate emotional state
characterized by apprehension, fear,
tension, and an increase in arousal.
• Trait Anxiety – A predisposition to perceive
certain environmental situations as
threatening and to respond to these
situations with increased state anxiety.
Cognitive versus Somatic
Dimension of Anxiety
• Cognitive Anxiety – The mental component
of anxiety caused by such things as fear of
social evaluation, fear of failure, and loss of
• Somatic Anxiety – The physical component
of anxiety and reflects the perception of
The Stress Process and Antecedents
of the State Anxiety Response
• The Stress Process
• Antecedents of the State Anxiety Response
(precompetitive state anxiety)
The Stress Process
• Three parts of Stress Process:
1. Environmental Situation
2. Appraisal of Environmental Situation
3. The Stress Response
• Stress response (state anxiety) only occurs
if coping skills perceived to be inadequate
to deal with situation (imbalance).
Antecedents of Precompetitive
Fear of Performance Failure
Fear of Negative Social Evaluation
Fear of Physical Harm
Disruption of a Well-learned Routine
Measurement of Anxiety
• As the most studied emotion in sport
psychology, a plethora of inventories
designed to measure anxiety have been
utilized and/or developed.
• Categories of anxiety inventories:
a. Trait Anxiety
b. State Anxiety
c. Short Abbreviated State Anxiety Inventories
Trait Anxiety Inventories
• Spielberger’s Trait Anxiety Inventory (TAI)
• Sport Competition Anxiety Test (SCAT)
• Cognitive Somatic Anxiety Questionnaire
• Sport Anxiety Scale – 2 (SAS-2)
State Anxiety Inventories
• Spielberger’s State Anxiety Inventory (SAI)
• Competitive State Anxiety Inventory -2
• Revised Competitive State Anxiety
Inventory – 2 (CSAI-2R)
• Activation-Deactivation Checklist (ADACL)
Short Competitive State Anxiety
Mental Readiness Form (MRF)
Anxiety Rating Scale (ARS)
Immediate Anxiety Measurement Scale
The Sport Grid
The Affect Grid
Time-to-Event Nature of
Precompetitive State Anxiety
• Cognitive Anxiety - Starts high and remains
high as event approaches. Fluctuates
throughout the contest as probability of
• Somatic Anxiety - Starts low but increases
rapidly as event approaches. Dissipates
rapidly once event begins.
Perfectionism in Sport
• Multidimensional Nature of Perfectionism
• Two Over Arching Dimensions:
1. Functional Perfectionism
2. Dysfunctional Perfectionism
• Measurement of Perfectionism
• Correlates of Perfectionism
Over Arching Dimensions of
• Functional Perfectionism – Considered to
be positive and adaptive. Characterized by
perfectionistic strivings (self and other), high
personal standards, and desire for organization.
• Disfunctional Perfectionism – Considered to
be negative and maladaptive. Characterized by
concern over mistakes, parental expectations and
criticism, self-doubts, and socially prescribed
Frost Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale.
Frost Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale – 24.
Hewitt Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale.
Sport Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale.
Multidimensional Inventory of Perfectionism in
Correlates of Perfectionism
• Functional Perfectionism Predicts:
Lower levels of state anxiety.
Higher levels of self-confidence.
Adaptive goal orientations.
Correlates of Perfectionism
• Dysfunctional Perfectionism Predicts:
Higher levels of state anxiety.
Lower levels of self-confidence.
Maladaptive goal orientations.
The Relationship Between
Arousal and Performance
• Two Classic and Basic Theories:
1. Inverted-U Theory
2. Drive Theory
• In testing the two theories, state anxiety
is often used as a proxy variable for
arousal. This is because arousal
generally increases with an increase in
• Based on classic research of Yerkes and Dodson
• Best performance occurs at a moderate level of
• Changes in performance are gradual as arousal
• Theories that predict an inverted-U relationship
between arousal and performance (next slide):
Theories that Predict
an Inverted-U Relationship
• Easterbrook’s Cue Utilization Theory
• Signal Detection Theory
• Information Processing Theory
Cue Utilization Theory
(see Figure 6.4)
• First introduced in chapter six.
• A distraction theory of attention.
• Basic premise is that as arousal increases
• Narrowing of attention gates out irrelevant
and eventually relevant cues.
Signal Detection Theory
• Probability of correctly detecting a signal is
highest when arousal is at moderate level.
• At a low level of arousal the organism is
insensitive to signals from environment.
• At a high level of arousal the organism is
overly responsive to signals from the
environment (error prone).
Information Processing Theory
• At a moderate level of arousal the
information processing system is most
• At low levels of arousal the system is inert
• At high levels of arousal the system is
overloaded and susceptible to error.
Drive Theory and Performance
(Performance = Arousal x skill level)
• Performance increases as arousal increases (linear)
• Basic Tenets:
a. High arousal elicits dominant response.
b. Early in learning and with complex tasks, the
dominant response is the incorrect response.
c. Late in learning and with simple tasks, the dominant
response is the correct response.
Strength of theory is that it helps explain
relationship between learning and arousal.
Mood State and Athletic
• Defining Mood State.
• Measurement of Mood State.
• The Profile of Mood States (POMS) and
Morgan’s Mental Health Model.
• Mood State Relationships in Sport.
Mood State Definition
• While emotions are intense but brief
responses to the environmental situation,
moods are less intense but prolonged
experiences that relate to the individual as
well as to the situation.
Measurement of Mood State
• The Profile of Mood States (POMS).
• Moods measured by the POMS:
Vigor (only positive mood)
Morgan’s Mental Health Model
• The successful athlete is viewed as a
mentally healthy individual.
• The mentally healthy elite athlete exhibits
an iceberg mood profile relative to the six
1. Above the norm on vigor (positive mood).
2. Below the norm on all five negative moods.
Mood State Relationships in
Sport and Exercise
• Mood States and Achievement Levels.
• Mood States and Performance Outcome.
a. Type of Sport.
b. Measurement of Performance.
• Conceptual Model for Predicting Performance
(based upon POMS subscale scores).
Mood State and Achievement
• Except for a small difference in vigor
scores, athletes at different levels of
achievement display essentially the same
mood state scores.
• Cannot use mood state scores to
consistently differentiate between starters
and nonstarters on an athletic team (similar
to personality traits).
Mood States and Performance
• A small to moderate relationship exists between
precompetitive mood and athletic performance.
• Moderator Variables:
1. Type of Sport – Predict performance best in individual
and short-duration sports.
2. Measurement of Performance – Mood predicts
performance best when performance measured
subjectively (e.g. compared to expected) as opposed to
objectively (outcome or time).
Conceptual Model for Predicting
Performance from POMS Scores
• Depression moderates the relationship:
1. Depression is associated with increased negative
mood and decreased vigor, which will have a
debilitative effect on performance.
2. In the absence of depression, vigor will have a
facilitative effect on performance, fatigue and
confusion will have a debilitative effect, and anger
and tension will have a curvilinear effect .
Modest research support for the proposed
conceptual model has been reported (fig. 7.9).
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