Performing under pressure in private: activation of self-focus traits

Geukes, Katharina, Mesango, Christopher, Hanrahan, Stephanie J. and Kellmann, Michael (2012) Performing under pressure in private: activation of self-focus traits. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 11 1: 11-23. doi:10.1080/1612197X.2012.724195

Author Geukes, Katharina
Mesango, Christopher
Hanrahan, Stephanie J.
Kellmann, Michael
Title Performing under pressure in private: activation of self-focus traits
Journal name International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1612-197X
Publication date 2012-09-24
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/1612197X.2012.724195
Volume 11
Issue 1
Start page 11
End page 23
Total pages 13
Place of publication Morgantown, WV, United States
Publisher Fitness Information Technology
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Self-focus and self-presentation traits have been found to predict performance under pressure. The interactionist principle of trait activation indicates that situational demands encourage different traits to be relevant to performance in high-pressure situations. Thus, the purpose of the current study was to investigate the relationship of self-focus and self-presentation traits with performance in a private high-pressure setting. Because the private high-pressure situation offered motivational incentives but only minimal self-presentation cues, only a self-focus trait (private self-consciousness), but not self-presentation traits (public self-consciousness and narcissism), was hypothesized to predict performance under pressure in a private setting. After completing personality questionnaires, future physical education university students (N = 59) with experience in sport competitions performed eight throws at a target in low-pressure and high-pressure conditions. The conditions were identical with the exception that the high-pressure condition involved a monetary incentive and a cover story. Participants' state anxiety increased from low to high pressure. Neither self-focus nor self-presentation traits predicted performance under low pressure. Only the self-focus trait, but not self-presentation traits, negatively contributed to the prediction of high-pressure performance. Hence, findings support the applicability of the trait activation principle and underline that the situational demands of private high-pressure situations activate self-focus personality traits.
Keyword Choking under pressure
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Version of record first published: 24 Sep 2012

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: Scopus Citation Count Cited 2 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 26 Nov 2012, 14:55:41 EST by Deborah Noon on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences