HIGH INCENTIVE AND CONFIDENCE WORK AGAINST EACH OTHER'S AFFECT ON AROUSAL
Yancey, G. B., Humphrey, E., & Neal, K. (1992). How perceived incentive, task confidence, and arousal influence performance. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 74, 279-285.
Some components of expectancy theory, which may counteract each other, were evaluated for their relationships with arousal.
Undergraduate students (N = 46) served as Ss. Task confidence was manipulated by providing Ss feedback on a "practice" mathematics examination. Poor performers were deemed to have lowered task performance and good performers increased, because of the practice experience. The manipulation effect was checked with two short questionnaires that also evaluated perceived incentive and arousal. After the assessments, Ss were told they would not have to actually take an examination.
A significant relationship was revealed between perceived incentive and arousal. A significant negative correlation was found between task confidence and arousal.
Implication. Confident individuals will likely exhibit lowered arousal but if incentive is high, then arousal should rise. Advocating that one should be confident and perform under high incentive conditions will cause competing effects on arousal, the outcome on performance yet to be determined by research. Whether this phenomenon exists in sports needs to be verified.
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