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Effects of competition on performance, and the underlying psychophysiological mechanisms

Cooke, Andrew Michael (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis investigates potential psychophysiological mechanisms to explain the effects of competition on performance. In the first experiment novice participants undertook a golf putting task under varying levels of competitive pressure. Fewer putts were holed with increased competitive pressure. Mediation analyses revealed that effort, muscle activity and lateral clubhead acceleration were responsible for the decline in performance. In the second experiment, expert golfers completed a putting task under varying levels of competitive pressure. Results indicated that increased competitive pressure improved performance, in terms of how close putts finished to the hole. Mediation analyses revealed that effort and heart rate partially mediated improved performance. In the third experiment, participants undertook a handgrip endurance task in competitive and non-competitive conditions. Results indicated that endurance performance was greater during competition. Enjoyment fully mediated whereas effort and heart rate variability partially mediated the effects of competition on performance. In the final experiment, participants undertook a handgrip endurance task in individual and team competitions. Endurance performance was better during team competitions. Mediation analyses revealed that enjoyment and effort mediated the effects of competition on performance. These findings are discussed in relation to processing efficiency, reinvestment, and enjoyment-based theories of the competition–performance relationship.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Ring, Christopher
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Sport and Exercise Science
Subjects:BF Psychology
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1125
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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