Relationship between manifest anxiety level and skill performance in stressful and non-stressful situations
Van Handel, Peter
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This study was designed to explore the relationship between manifest anxiety level and skill performance in stressful and non-stressful situations. A sub problem was to measure the effects of stress on performance. 109 sophomore women physical education majors were chosen as subjects because they met several criteria including availability. The four classes of women were split into two groups; (1) experimental (stress), and (2) control (no stress). The tests chosen to carry out the designated purposes of the study were the IPAT anxiety scale questionnaire and the La Crosse A-B wall test-for measuring ball handling ability. The first class period of the semester this investigator administered the anxiety scale. The same period, the regular class instructor conducted the skill test-under the pretense of it being a pre-test. Seven weeks later the skill test was again given-except the experimental group was given stressful instructions. Related literature suggests that: 1) the difficulty of the task as described, (2) stress can be either facilitating or impairing, and (3) there seems to be an optimal level of anxiety for efficient performance. The results indicated: (1) there were no significant differences between the two groups for any of the scores, (2) within groups there was a significant difference between the skill trials. (3) there were no significant differences in performance between the high and low-anxiety subjects, and (4) as anxiety level increased. Skill performance decreased.
Anxiety -- Physiological aspects