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Social Facilitation and Inhibition

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Mark Whittingham

on 7 November 2013

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Transcript of Social Facilitation and Inhibition

Social Facilitation and Inhibition
Most sports or physical activities take place in the company of other people either in the form of spectators or co-actors.
What would the presence of an audience cause to the athlete?
What kind of influence will this have on the athlete?
What do you think is the difference between social facilitation and social inhibition?
Evaluation apprehension theory
Cottrell (1968) proposed that the 'mere presence' of others was not sufficiently arousing to produce the social facilitation effect.

Increases in arousal were only evident when the performer perceived that the audience was assessing or judging a performance.

This is why this theory was termed 'evaluation apprehension'

is could be the case that the perceived evaluation of the audience inhibits performance. Some athletes may rely on evaluation to stimulate arousal.
In his model of drive theory of social facilitation, Zajonc recognised different types of audience.

Social Facilitation and Inhibition
Social Facilitation and Inhibition
• Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the positive (facilitation) and negative (inhibition) effects (audience and co-actors) on performance, participation and lifestyle;
• Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of strategies to combat the effects of social inhibition in practical activities (the use of selective attention and mental rehearsal) and in following a balanced, active and healthy lifestyle.

strategies to combat the effects of social inhibition in practical activities
1. Selective attention would narrow the focus of the performer onto relevant cues.
2. mental rehearsal and imagery could enhance concentration and help block out the audience.
3. The athlete would be advised to engage in positive self talk to block out negative thoughts.
4. ensure that skills are overlearned to become dominant behaviours. when arousal increases, dominant responses emerge.
5. Confidence building strategies should be implemented to reduce inhibition.
6. Positive reinforcement and social support from the coach and team mates will reduce anxiety.
7. confidence could also be increased by appropriate use of attribution,
the effects of an audience and other participants on performance and lifestyle behaviours
Social Facilitation and Inhibition
The presence of an audience increases the arousal level of the athlete.
Increases in arousal can have either a positive or a negative influence on performance.
Social Facilitation occurs when arousal enhances performance.
Social Inhibition occurs when arousal inhibits performance.
Much of the current belief relating to audience effects is based around two psychological theories;
1. Drive Theory of social facilitation (Zajonc, 1965)
2. Evaluation apprehension theory (Cottrell, 1968)
Drive Theory of social facilitation
Drive Theory
Indicates a relationship between arousal and performance
States that the presence of others is in itself arousing - that arousal enhances production of dominant responses as opposed to subordinate responses.
Actions that have already been learned are termed 'learned behaviours' and tend to be our dominant responses.
High arousal is beneficial at the expert stage (autonomous) because the performer's dominant behaviour is our dominant response
At the associative stage the dominant behaviour is likely to be incorrect. High arousal would cause mistakes and inhibit performance.
High arousal facilitates the performance of simple and ballistic skills that are classified as gross. It would also benefit an extrovert but inhibit an introvert.
This theory is supported by the belief that arousal caused by an audience is a natural (innate) reaction.
Other theories to consider...
The home advantage effect
The Proximity effect
Distraction-conflict theory
A-level questions
Using practical examples, explain the possible positive and negative effects an audience can have on performance (6 marks, Feb 2010)
Explain the causes and effects of evaluation apprehension on sports performance or lifestyle behaviours (June 2011, 6 marks)
Zajonc states that when an audience is present, arousal is raised. Explain how different levels of arousal affect those performing in sport in front of an audience. Refer in your answer to, type of task, ability level, personality of performer. (June 2012, 5 marks)
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