Published on August 2, 2007
The Role of Personality in Sport: Conceptual and Methodological Challenges: The Role of Personality in Sport: Conceptual and Methodological Challenges Eugene V. Aidman University of Adelaide, Australia The Science of Personality: The Science of Personality we are: different from anyone else (uniqueness) remain ourselves across situations (consistency) These differences are measurable Thurstone’s law: if something exists, it exists in some amount and can therefore be measured Personality research: study of measurable individual differences – but what are they? Situation-free dispositions (i.e. aggregated across time) vs situationally hedged dispositions = conditional and interactive with the situations in which they are expressed (Mischel, 2004) Personality & Sport: Personality andamp; Sport Compared to non-sport playing controls on 16PF, national level competitors are (Williams, 1985): higher emotional stability greater mental toughness more self-assured more trusting Getting into an Olympic squad in wrestling (Silva et al., 1985) linked to (16PF) sociability, boldness, emotional stability and apprehension Mood States and Performance: Mood States and Performance Morgan andamp; Hammer (1974) - Terry (2000) better performing athletes display more positive mental states: less anxious less depressed less fatigued less confused more vigorous (and extroverted) Mental health profile: Mental health profile Positive Mental Health Profile: (Morgan andamp; Johnson, 1978) found lower levels of psychopathology (MMPI) in more successful University oarsmen However: hardly any replication e.g. Brown, Morgan andamp; Kihlstrom (1989) found no significant associations between MMPI profiles of collegiate athletes and their athletic success Anxiety and Performance: Anxiety and Performance Levels - high vs low - are insufficient state - trait anxiety (Spielberger) cognitive appraisal of threat: facilitative anxiety: stress response as excitement debilitative anxiety: stress response as threatening Personality & Achievement: Personality andamp; Achievement Davis andamp; Mogk (1994) compared elite, sub-elite, non-elite and non-athletes on EPQ, Sensation-seeking and Achievieng Tendency scales: the key factors linked to the level of competitive achievment: emotional stability and achievment motivation Personality and success: Personality and success Piedmont, Hill andamp; Blanco (1999): coach ratings of performance and game stats linked to the Big Five profiles of elite soccer players: Neuroticism / emotional stability Conscientiousness / «will to achieve» acceptance of criticism: «coachability», in turn linked to higher self-esteem Personality and Performance: Personality and Performance Origins in Org- and Ed- psychology: selecting for success Personality-Related Position Requirements Form (PPRF; Raymark andamp; Schmidt, 1997): based on the Big Five model (McRae andamp; Costa, 1992) found personality factors predictive of job performance based on specific competencies (job needs analysis) Sport Psychology is yet to follow PPRF’s lead Personality and Sport Performance: Personality and Sport Performance sceptical vs credulos debate (Morgan, 1980) Personality is a weak predictor of Sport Performance but it is a Predictor Weak theory - wrong place to look for connections Weak method - hopeless in catching a connection even if there was one (insufficient design) The connection is unlikely to be DIRECT and IMMEDIATE The Role of Personality in Sport & Exercise: The Role of Personality in Sport andamp; Exercise in the long run: converting ability into achievement from promice to delivery sub-elite to elite sport transition «here and now»: moderating the effects of circumstances on performance stress tolerance -vs- anxiety volatile motivated -vs- slack: e.g. winning from behind focused -vs- all over the place injury pronene - hardy Example 1: Personality in Long Term Achievement Elite Juniors’ transition to Senior AFL (Aidman, 2004)Method: Example 1: Personality in Long Term Achievement Elite Juniors’ transition to Senior AFL (Aidman, 2004) Method 32 elite junior players from a leading Australian Football League (AFL) club: mean age 17.8 (1.1) players profiled with Cattell’s 16PF (Form A) at the peak of their junior playing career – immediately after the season where they won the National Championship in their age group. Head Coach rated players’ performance and physical potential (5-point Likert scales) 7-year follow-up: has the player made it to senior AFL(drafted+played at least one season) or not ? Results: Results 13 players made it into senior AFL competition 19 others ended up playing minor leagues or dropped out of the game altogether MANOVA showed no significant differences between these two groups of players on primary personality factor profiles when the players’ physical potential rated by their junior head coach was controlled for in an MANCOVA, the differences between the groups became highly significant: both on multivariate estimates (F (16, 14) = 3.506; p = .012) and on a number of individual factors Results: Group Differences: Results: Group Differences Results: Group Differences: Results: Group Differences Personality in Long Term AFL Success: Elite Juniors’ transition to Senior AFL: Personality in Long Term AFL Success: Elite Juniors’ transition to Senior AFL Coach Ratings ONLY:: Coach Ratings ONLY: Compare with flipping a coin: Compare with flipping a coin 16 Personality Factors Profile ONLY: 16 Personality Factors Profile ONLY 16 Personality Factors Profile +ONE Coach Rating (physical potential):: 16 Personality Factors Profile + ONE Coach Rating (physical potential): Aidman (1999, 2000) Predicting senior AFL performance from personality : Predicting senior AFL performance from personality Prediction targets: performance in junior championship at the time of testing aggregate of senior achievement over the last 5 seasons (Alpha=.96) coach rating on a 5-point scale: 'struggling vs cruising through senior league ranks' Conclusions: : Conclusions: Confirmed the influence of Personality factors on sub-elite to elite sport transition in AFL however, this influence is indirect observable only in the long term Interaction with Ability: Ability (physique in AFL) = entry ticket Personality acts as a means of converting ability into achievement (from a promicing junior to an accomplished athlete) Example 2: Personality and on-the-day performance prediction (Aidman & Beckerman, 2001): Example 2: Personality and on-the-day performance prediction (Aidman andamp; Beckerman, 2001) Specific personality characteristics implicated: Emotional stability Achievement orientation Conscientiousness (e.g., discipline) Self-concept (e.g., confidence) Anxiety Method: Method Participants: 48 Australian Rules football players (M = 21.40 years, SD = 3.11 years) who played a full season with a successful Victorian Football League (VFL) club Instruments: Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI; McCrae andamp; Costa, 1992) Self-Apperception Test (SAT-2; Aidman, 1997, 1999) Self-Liking/Self-Competence Scale (SLCS; Tafarodi andamp; Swann, 1995) Stress Appraisal Questionnaire: Threatening versus Exciting Procedure Aggregated game statistics across a complete season ‘Credits’ score representing the effort and quality of performance for each player in every game Results: Results Three distinct groups of players identified: elite (senior players) non-elite (reserves) sub-elite ('swingers' – players who played at both levels) groups were found to be predictably different on: Self-discipline Achievement Striving Neuroticism (Fig. 1) Results: Interaction between personality and situation in the prediction of effort : Results: Interaction between personality and situation in the prediction of effort Three categories of games identified: ‘Close Games' - in dispute for almost the entirety of the game ‘Easy Wins’ - where the result was well in the team’s favour most of the way and no longer in dispute ‘Bad Losses’ - where the team was well beaten most of the way and no longer in the contest Hierarchical Regression predicting game performance: 'easy win' games predictors: Self-discipline and Neuroticism 'close' games predictors: Neuroticism and Self-esteem 'bad losses' - no connection Table 1. Game performance (‘Credits’) (SD) Across Three Game types, by Stress Appraisal : Table 1. Game performance (‘Credits’) (SD) Across Three Game types, by Stress Appraisal Stress appraisal and game performance: Stress appraisal and game performance Three aspects of Self:: Three aspects of Self: Cognitive: self-attributions bright, attractive, athletic, slow etc. Affective: how we feel about these self-attributions (evaluation) self-esteem = affective avaluation of self (Martens, 1975) Behavioural: our tendencies to behave in accordance with self-image Self-concept as self-fulfillling prophecy: self-concept is more than self-descriptions, its a commitment to continue being oneself 'as described' Example 3: Self-esteem and Performance (Meagher andamp; Aidman, 2004) Individual Differences in Self-attitudes:some implications: Individual Differences in Self-attitudes: some implications Global (Self-esteem) Partial Self-appraisals --andgt; Self-concept Rationale for Indirect Measurement of Self: Rationale for Indirect Measurement of Self Global self-attitudes vs self-descriptions self-presentation distortions deliberate (faking, impression management) self-deceptions (genuine) affective / implicit elements of Self displaced self-esteem (Cialdini, 1993) self-positivity bias (Taylor andamp; Brown, 1988) implicit affiliation / rejection (Tesser, 1988; Suls andamp; Wills, 1991) Implicit - Explicit: Implicit - Explicit unconscious – conscious intuitive – analytic direct – indirect automatic – controlled procedural - declarative Implicit Cognition:traces of past experience influencing future performance - despite being unavailable to self-report and (accurate) introspection: Implicit Cognition: traces of past experience influencing future performance - despite being unavailable to self-report and (accurate) introspection Implicit Social Cognition: Implicit Memory (Jacoby et al., 1992) Implicit Attitudes Implicit Self-Esteem Implicit Stereotypes Implicit Attitudes :introspectively unidentified (or inaccurately identified) traces of past experience that influence favourable or unfavourable feeling, thought or action towards social objects: Implicit Attitudes : introspectively unidentified (or inaccurately identified) traces of past experience that influence favourable or unfavourable feeling, thought or action towards social objects Hallo effects Physical attractiveness bias Mere Exposure (e.g. ease of comprehension taken as statement’s validity ) Subliminal attitude conditioning Instant Attitudes (schema-triggered effects) Context effects in surveys (e.g. weather on QOL) Implicit Self-Esteem: introspectively unidentified (or inaccurately identified) effect of self-attitude on self-associated and self-dissociated objects : Implicit Self-Esteem: introspectively unidentified (or inaccurately identified) effect of self-attitude on self-associated and self-dissociated objects Mere ownership Minimal group effect Liking for name letters Self-positivity bias Indirect Measurement of Self-Attitudes:Essential Ingredients: Indirect Measurement of Self-Attitudes: Essential Ingredients Responce latencies in mixed category discrimination tasks (IAT; Greenwald et al. 1998) (semi) projective stimulation relevant to Self-image fuzzy images (Ligett, 1959) / facial sketches (Aidman, 1999) replicable procedure: semantic differential (Snider andamp;Osgood, 1969) Relevant self-attitude scales: global (self-worth, self-competence) specific (ability, attractiveness, strength...) Self-reported vs indirect self-appraisal and elite swimmers’ performance (Aidman & Perry, 2000)Method: Participants: Self-reported vs indirect self-appraisal and elite swimmers’ performance (Aidman andamp; Perry, 2000) Method: Participants 38 elite Australian swimmers (15 females and 23 males, mean age 20.1 years, SD = 2.84) participated as part of their preparation program for the 1998 World Championship Method: Instruments: Method: Instruments Self-Liking/Self-Competence Scale (Tafarodi andamp; Swann, 1995) Cronbach’s alphas: .92 for self-liking .89 for self-competence Self-Apperception Test (SAT; Aidman, 1999) – measuring implicit self-appraisal (ISA) Cronbach’s alpha: .83-.90 for Global ISA (retest reliability 0.57 - 0.84) Method: Procedure: Method: Procedure Self-appraisal measures taken 3 months and 1 week prior to the competition (time 1) ISP (international performance ratings devised by FINA) recorded at time 1 and immediately after the competition implicit self-attitudes hypothesised to predict ISP change (positive self-affect to be associated with gains in ISP) Results: Results Self-affect and performance: direct association Self-affect and performance improvement Declared and Implicit Self-Appraisal: correlations with World ranknings (ISP): Declared and Implicit Self-Appraisal: correlations with World ranknings (ISP) Declared and Implicit Self-Appraisal: correlations with pre-post competition change in swimmers’ ISP: Declared and Implicit Self-Appraisal: correlations with pre-post competition change in swimmers’ ISP Conclusions: Conclusions Declared self-attitudes DID NOT predict performance improvement at World Championship Implict self-appraisal of ability DID, consistent with the theoretical prediction Implict self-appraisal of strength was directly (although weakly) associated with ISP none of declared self-esteem scores were Conclusions cont’d: Conclusions cont’d Self-affect is conceptually and meaningfully linked to athletes’ ability to perform at their best Self-affect measurement may play an important role in predicting athletic performance at elite level But in order to fulfill this role, predictions should be (a) specific, (b) conceptually driven, and (c) matched to an adequate method of measurement (i.e. implicit rather than declared) Overall Conclusions: Overall Conclusions personality effects are likely to be Long term (e.g. converting ability into achievement) Moderating rather than direct (e.g., moderating the effects of circumstances on performance) Situation is more than a source of noise in personality measurement – it is a key ingredient of it: 'if… then…' behavioural signatures (Mischel, 2004) Types of situations with psychologically equivalent meaning (e.g., frustration) Must be very specific Theory driven Epilogue: behavioural signatures of aggression not an aggregate aggression score, but a profile of aggressive responding “if… then…” (Mischel, 2004): Epilogue: behavioural signatures of aggression not an aggregate aggression score, but a profile of aggressive responding 'if… then…' (Mischel, 2004) Unprovoked attacks - Aggression as an intrinsic choice Retaliatory attacks - i.e. «tooth for tooth» Frustration-driven attacks - lashing out at an obstacle escalation: mastering an aggressive response may / may not translate to its greater use Computer-game-embedded assessment (Aidman & Shmelyov, 2002): Computer-game-embedded assessment (Aidman andamp; Shmelyov, 2002) Interaction types in reverse desirability order Avatar is attacked Avatar’s path blocked Avatar is allowed through Avatar is allowed through with a smiling greeting and extra power) Objectives of the game: reach desired destination score maximum points along the way can be achieved through any combination of: searching for effective expressions searching for efficient routes attacking the hosts player is free to choose the tactics (may be prompted by instruction) Mimics game Stimulus material: schematized facial universals (Ekman, 1999) Avatar - player controlled expression Hosts - human-like responding to the Avatar’s expressions objective = negotiate a maze-like matrix of hosts for a reward :-) Controllable elements of expression: mouth eyes eybrows each element can be made: smiling neutral frowning independently of the other two hosts avatar Mimics measures: Mimics measures rate of unprovoked attacks (aggression as an intrinsic choice) rate of retaliatory attacks (aggression mirroring) frustration-driven attacks (aggressive over-reaction to blockings) threatening: choosing a frowning expression intrapunitive / avoidant responding to aggression, e.g. evasion Overall - 26 measures based on automated standardized observations Effects of instruction on playing Mimics : Effects of instruction on playing Mimics Playing Mimics under Peaceful and Open Instructions: Playing Mimics under Peaceful and Open Instructions Repeated measures MANOVA (N=37) within subjects factor: instruction condition between subjects factor: median split on Buss andamp; Perry’s total aggression score Strong main effect of instruction: F (5,30) = 3.965; p =.004 Significant multivariate interaction: F (5,30) = 2.655; p =.029 high and low scorers respond differently to the change of instruction Unprovoked attacks under Peaceful and Open instructions: Unprovoked attacks under Peaceful and Open instructions Self-reported aggression (Buss-Perry total): instruction Retaliatory attacks under Peaceful and Open instructions: Retaliatory attacks under Peaceful and Open instructions Self-reported aggression (Buss-Perry total): instruction Frustration-driven attacks under Peaceful and Open instructions: Frustration-driven attacks under Peaceful and Open instructions Self-reported aggression (Buss-Perry total): instruction Correlations between Self-reported Aggression and Changes in Mimics parametersfrom Peaceful to Open Instruction (N=37): Correlations between Self-reported Aggression and Changes in Mimics parameters from Peaceful to Open Instruction (N=37) Selected References: Aidman, E.V. (1999). Measuring individual differences in implicit self-concept: initial validation of the self-apperception test. Personality and Individual Differences, 27, 211-228. Aidman, E. andamp; Carroll, S. (2003) Implicit Individual Differences: Relationships between Implicit Self-Esteem, Gender Identity and Gender Attitudes. European Journal of Personality, 17 (1), 19-37. Aidman, E., andamp; Shmelyov, A.(2002). Mimix: a symbolic conflict/cooperation simulation program, with embedded protocol recording and automatic psychometric assessment. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments andamp; Computers, 34 (1), 83-89. Baumeister, R.F., (1999) Low self-esteem does not cause aggression. APA Monitor, 30 (1) , 7. Baumeister, R.F., Heatherton, T.F., andamp; Tice, D.M. (1993). When ego threats lead to self-regulation failure: Negative consequences of high self-esteem. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 141-156. Selected References Greenwald, A.G., McGhee, D.E., andamp; Schwartz, J.K.L. (1998). Measuring individual differences in implicit cognition: the Implicit Association Test. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 1464-1480. Kihlstrom, J. (1999, September). The discovery of the unconscious. Paper presented at the meeting of the Australian Psychological Society, Hobart, Tasmania. Meagher, B., andamp; Aidman, E. (2004) Individual Differences in Implicit and Declared Self-Esteem as Predictors of Response to Negative Performance Evaluation: Validating Implicit Association Test as a Measure of Self-Attitudes. International Journal of Testing,4 (1),19-42. Tafarodi, R.W., andamp; Swann, W.B. (1995). Self-liking and self-competence as dimensionality of global self-esteem: initial validation of a measure. Journal of Personality Assessment, 65, 322-342. Tallent R., andamp; Aidman E. (1995). The impact of residential status upon quality of life in elderly women. 1995 APS Conference, abstracted: Australian Journal of Psychology, 47 (supplement), p. 119.