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Personality & Sport

KIN 247: Lecture on the role of personality and profile testing in sport

Sean Mullen

on 29 August 2014

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Transcript of Personality & Sport

Dr. Sean Mullen
Personality & Sport
3 Levels of Personality
Is it personality or how athletes utilize their personality that make them more or less successful?
Using psychological measures:
When are they useful in sport?
When should tests not be used?
How qualified do I need to be to administer the test?
Is the test appropriate to the population?
How should I administer the test?
Is there an "athletic personality”?
Nervousness, anxiety, anger versus stability
Enthusiasm, sociability, assertiveness versus introversion
Openness to experience
Originality, variety, curiosity
Amiability, altruism, modesty versus egocentrism, narcissism
Achievement striving, self-discipline
“Big 5” Model

Psychodynamic - rarely employed in sport
Social learning theory
Personality theory (traits/dispositions)
Interactional approach
The characteristics, or combination of characteristics, that makes a person unique

Why study personality?
50th %
MORE successful
LESS successful
POMS and the Iceberg Profile
What do research findings tell us?
Athletes and nonathletes – no differences
Gender - no differences
Within sport - some differences
Exercise contexts – Type A, Self-concept
Bottom Line:
Successful athletes seem to use more coping, more mental preparation, and more concentration than less successful athletes

Many of these skills can be learned and/or further developed
I - general traits
II - personal concerns
III - life narrative
Approaches to personality:
Today's Objectives:
Understand the interaction of athlete x environment;
3 levels of personality;
The great debates:
Is there an athletic personality?
Is personality testing useful, ethical or inappropriately used?

The iceberg profile (measure of mood, not personality)
Is vigor mood or motivation?
Full transcript