Effect of Competition on Muscular Performance
Leong Tan, Leon Yee
Journal of Advanced Student Sciences (JASS)
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Competition is a prevalent motivator in everyday life. Previous studies have proven that competition influences hormonal levels and thus affect performance. The purpose of this study was to identify these physiological effects. This study was completed in two stages using a within-subject design. In both stages, participants were directed to clench a hand dynamometer as hard as possible for as long as possible. Stage one recorded baseline data from individuals completing the task alone. Stage two recorded experimental data from these same individuals competing against a same-gender peer. Individual differences between stages were attributed to the effects of competition. Four variables were measured in each stage: maximum clench force, fatigue time, electromyography, and change in heart rate. Fatigue time in male participants was found to increase significantly during competition; all other changes were statistically insignificant. Together, these results indicate that competition did not affect the physiological variables relative to the baseline. These results run contrary to numerous peer-reviewed publications, indicating a possible procedural problem.
Sympathetic Nervous System
An article that appeared in JASS, issue 2018