The purpose of this study was to answer the question; does a stressful situation effect a person’s anxiety (cognitive and somatic), and therefore lead to affecting self-confidence. Self-confidence is thought to be an inner belief and not putting psychological limits on yourself and is defined as ‘the belief that you can successfully perform a desired behavior” (Weinberg & Gould, 2003). If a person’s self-confidence is low, then their performance may decrease also. Anxiety is a negative emotional state with feelings of worry, nervousness, and apprehension associated with activation or arousal of the body.
The body can be aroused in NY stressful situation. Stress is defined as “A state in which some demand is placed on an individual. Who is then required to act in some way or other to cope with the situation at hand. ” (Jones, 1990). Therefore if an individual is placed in a stressful situation, (the situation is the stresses and the stress they experience is the process) this will cause the body to react in a physical manner and the participant will experience anxiety if they perceive they can not cope with the stresses.
Hardy, Jones and Gould (1996) stated that “stress may or may to cause strain depending upon how well a person perceives themselves as able to cope with the situation at hand”. If they have doubts about this ability, they are reflected in symptoms of anxiety, which will furthermore decrease self-confidence. The hypothesis of this study is to investigate the question; a stressful situation will affect a participant’s somatic anxiety, cognitive anxiety and self-confidence and therefore performance.
This is an experimental hypothesis and is also a two-tailed hypothesis because it is non-directional and we do not now how the performance will be affected. Method: Before any other procedure in this study, we had to fill out a Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (Coal-2; Martens et al, 1990). The inventory measured how we felt right at that specific time about the upcoming competition. We had to complete the inventory as honestly as we could, because sometimes athletes feel they should not admit to nervousness, anxiety or worry they experience before competition.
So we had to answer 27 questions about our feelings there and then. Our class was then divided into two competing teams, made up of approximately 15 students each. Each team was selected completely randomly, by just writing our names into the computer. The average age of the group was 19, and it was a mixed gender class. Both of the teams competed against each other in front of our peers and were also recorded against the whole of the year group.
Individual scores were also recorded to compete against those in our lab. The actual task that we were tested on was a golf putting task and it involved three rounds of an oft putt using a regulation putter and golf ball to a regulation sized golf hole. Accuracy of the putt was measured by radial error in terms of distance away from the hole in centimeters (CM) using a loft tape measure. The results were collected on a computer using Microsoft Excel, in the form of a table.
Each team acted as an audience for the competition and provided the stresses of social comparison. Following round two and prior to the start of round three, the scores for each individual was read out. Following this each performer then had to re-complete the Coal-2, and state how we felt at exactly that moment. Round three was then undertaken and the team with the least rope radial error at the end of the lab series received a prize of chocolate.
We were told about this prize prior to the whole task and therefore may have acted as an incentive for individuals. Also the individual with the lowest radial error in the lab group received a prize of chocolate for themselves. In this experiment the dependent variable was performance of the putting because it is the variable that is being measured and anxiety is the independent variable because it would be manipulating the performance. The participants as an audience acted as the stresses towards the anxiety.