Effects of competition on endurance performance and the underlying psychological and physiological mechanisms

Cooke, A. and Kavussanu, M. and McIntyre, D. and Ring, C. (2011) Effects of competition on endurance performance and the underlying psychological and physiological mechanisms. Biological Psychology, 86 ((3)). pp. 370-378. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2011.01.009

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Competition can influence performance, however, the underlying psychological and physiological mechanisms are poorly understood. To address this issue we tested mechanisms underlying the competition�performance relationship. Measures of anxiety, effort, enjoyment, autonomic activity and muscle activity were obtained from 94 participants during a handgrip endurance task completed in individual and competition conditions. Competition improved endurance performance, increased anxiety, effort, enjoyment, heart rate and muscle activity, and decreased heart rate variability, R-wave to pulse interval and pulse amplitude. Enjoyment fully mediated whereas effort and heart rate variability partially mediated the effects of competition on performance. In addition, anxiety moderated the competition�performance relationship; those with lower anxiety performed better in competition. We confirm that competition elicits effects on performance through psychological and physiological pathways, and identify mechanisms that underlie improved endurance performance during competition.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Research Publications
Departments: College of Health and Behavioural Sciences > School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2014 17:06
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2015 03:23
ISSN: 0301-0511
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/2055
Identification Number: DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2011.01.009
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