Understanding The Personality Of Athletes Psychology Essay

1837 words (7 pages) Essay

1st Jan 1970 Psychology Reference this

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By 1992, more than 1,000 articles had been published on aspects of sport personality (Ruffer, 1976; Vealey, 1989, 2002). This voluminous research demonstrates how important researches and practitioners consider the role of personality to be in sports. With that in mind, this research attempted to determine if there is a relationship between types of personalities and sports preferences. Athletes from different sports and non-athletes will play a part in this particular study. The primary interest of this study is to examine their personalities and make a comparison. There are lots of concerns on does personality of an individual give way to the types of sport chosen to be played. This would trigger questions such as, is there a relationship between personality type and sport preference? How do people choose the sport they participate in? Would it be a matter of personality preference? Are certain personality types more attracted to certain sports, like in careers? Why some people prefer individual sports over team sports? What do team players have in common?

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It seems reasonable to propose the idea that people will perform more to their potential if they understand themselves better and what drives their motivation. Most people do not know what they are capable of achieving. The reason is that they do not know themselves well enough. To know who we are and what we are able to do is especially important in sports. If a person knows more of his or her potentials and what they are able to accomplish, there will be a much greater chance for that person to find success. Therefore, more research should be done in this area in order to be able to help athletes and people in general to decide which sport would be best for them. This is especially relevant for young people, because they are trying to decide which sport they might play and they might even have an inspiration to turn professional later in life. This could relate to a quote by Paul Harris, which states, ‘Personality has power to uplift, power to depress, power to curse, and power to bless.’

Understanding the personality of athletes also prove to be beneficial to achieve a greater achievement and success in their range of sports participation. According to Cristina Bortoni Versari (2008), her research on basketball team indicated that teams exhibit a predictable personality profile and that by understanding the psyche of the athlete, performance and team productivity can be enhanced. Interpersonal communication amongst players and coaching staff can improve; players can take advantage of their personal preferences and strengths and work on developing other areas identified in the assessment process. Optimal communication and performance can be achieved by identifying the athlete’s preferred learning and personality styles. Personality types are attracted to and succeed in certain sports just like they do in certain occupations. The more athletes and coaches understand about their personalities and the team profile, the more productive they can be.

In their review of the relationship between sport and personality, Eysenck, Nias and Cox (1982) list a number of important conclusions. Based on the three well defined dimensions of personality, extraversion, neuroticism and psychotism, a number of findings are apparent: both average and superior sports person tend to be extraverted and tend to be lower on neuroticism but high on psychotism. On the other hand, extraverts are likely to be at a disadvantage in sports which the emphasis is on accuracy, such as rifle shooting and archery which call for calm, slow and deliberate preparation as researched by Davies (1989). By the same token, participants who are more extroverted might choose a team sport and where there is body contact and more aggressiveness. People who are introverted might be prone to an individual sport and a sport where there is no personal contact. Participants who involve themselves in an individual sport will be more egoistic.

Nearly all researchers and reviewers in the area have pointed out the serious methodological shortcomings in this area. Essentially, two reasons clearly exist for this disappointing research. Most such research is weak in both conception and design. In fact, it would be surprising if the result weren’t contradictory and confusing. With this in mind, the researcher will conduct surveys utilizing the examination of athletes, non-athletes, gender, extroversion, neuroticism, sensation seeking, calmness, and other variables. The researchers will then compare findings and interpret the data gathered among different types of sport, and between athletes and non-athletes. All participants will have to complete a demographic questionnaire that assess gender, age, college major, sport they participate in (only for athletes) and GPA. Personality test will be conducted inclusive of Eysenck Personality Inventory (Eysenck & Eysenck, 1975), “Global 5” (2008) and Scale from the Zuckerman-Kuhlman Personality Questionnaire (Zuckerman, 2002).

This study is concerned with correlations between measures of personality and different sport involvement within sport participation. One focus of interest is to ascertain what personality is the best for a particular sport, enabling the athletes and non athletes to find more success and interest with the least effort. Most people do not know what they are capable of achieving. The reason is that they do not know themselves well enough. To know who we are and what we are able to do is especially important in sports. If a person knows more of his or her potentials and what they are able to accomplish, there will be a much greater chance for that person to find success. This is especially relevant for young people, because they are trying to decide which sport they might play and they might even have an inspiration to turn professional later in life.

Researchers have asked for example, what causes one student to be excited about physical education class whereas others don’t even bother to dress out. Researched have questioned why some exercisers stay with their fitness program whereas others lose motivation and drop out. All the lack of interest and drop outs of fitness programs could give way to greater problem for a normal average person because they may not get involved in sports anymore. This situation may have caused the alarming raise of obesity cases in Malaysians aged 18 and above, whereby the statistics showed that obesity cases had increased by 3 times from 4.4% in year 1996 to 11.6 % in year 2006. With the huge increment in obesity cases, it is rather sad to see only a slight increment of 3% for the same years taken, for Malaysians involving in sports. Therefore, the study on personality could give an indicator for a person to select the sport that best suit their behavior and with that, they could stick the regime to improve the quality of their life.

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Understanding the personality of athletes also prove to be beneficial to achieve a greater achievement and success in their range of sports participation. According to Cristina Bortoni Versari (2008), her research on basketball team indicated that teams exhibit a predictable personality profile and that by understanding the psyche of the athlete, performance and team productivity can be enhanced. Interpersonal communication amongst players and coaching staff can improve; players can take advantage of their personal preferences and strengths and work on developing other areas identified in the assessment process. Optimal communication and performance can be achieved by identifying the athlete’s preferred learning and personality styles. Personality types are attracted to and succeed in certain sports just like they do in certain occupations. The more athletes and coaches understand about their personalities and the team profile, the more productive they can be.

This study is apparently the early attempt to study the relationship between personality type and sport preferences in Malaysia. The focus of interest in to ascertain the type of personality best suited for a particular sport, enabling athletes to find more success with the least effort. Besides that, it is easier to encourage non athletes to pick up certain physical activities or sports after their type of personality being known. This collides with the human nature whereby, whenever a person knows of his or her potential, they will further gain interest and develop deeper involvement and passion in it.

This theory was originated by Sigmund Freud in 1933; with a number of psychoanalytic theorists have proposed modifications to the original theory, namely Carl Jung, Erich Fromm and Erik Erickson (Mischel, 1986). This theory is based primarily upon self analysis and extensive clinical observation of neurotics. However, this theory has had little direct impact on sport personality research, due to their clinical and psychological focus. In Freud’s view, the id, ego and superego form the tripartite structure of personality; in a sense the id is the pleasure seeking mechanism. In contrast, the ego represents the conscious, logical, reality oriented aspect of the personality. The superego represents the conscience of the individual; it is the internalized moral standards of societies impressed upon the person by parental control and the process of socialization.

From the view of social learning theory, human behavior is a function of social learning and the strength of the situation. An individual behaves according to how he or she has learned to behave, consistent with environmental constraints. The origin of social learning theory can be traced to Clark Hull’s 1943 Theory of Learning. Hull’s stimulus response theory says that an individual’s behavior in any given situation is a function of his or her learned experiences. According to Bandura in the year 1977, behavior is best explained as a function of observational learning. A considerable amount of research in sport psychology has utilized the social learning approach.

The basic position or factory theory is that personality can be described in terms of traits possessed by individuals. Traits are considered to be stable, enduring and consistent across a variety of differing situations. Individuals differ in each trait due to genetic differences. Among the most ardent advocates of trait psychology are psychologists such as Alport, Cattell and Eysenck. The great strength of this theory is that it allows for the easy and objective measurement of personality through the use of inventories. Conversely, the weakness of the trait approach is that it may fail to consider the whole person, since personality according to this approach is represented by a collection of specific traits.

By 1992, more than 1,000 articles had been published on aspects of sport personality (Ruffer, 1976; Vealey, 1989, 2002). This voluminous research demonstrates how important researches and practitioners consider the role of personality to be in sports. With that in mind, this research attempted to determine if there is a relationship between types of personalities and sports preferences. Athletes from different sports and non-athletes will play a part in this particular study. The primary interest of this study is to examine their personalities and make a comparison. There are lots of concerns on does personality of an individual give way to the types of sport chosen to be played. This would trigger questions such as, is there a relationship between personality type and sport preference? How do people choose the sport they participate in? Would it be a matter of personality preference? Are certain personality types more attracted to certain sports, like in careers? Why some people prefer individual sports over team sports? What do team players have in common?

It seems reasonable to propose the idea that people will perform more to their potential if they understand themselves better and what drives their motivation. Most people do not know what they are capable of achieving. The reason is that they do not know themselves well enough. To know who we are and what we are able to do is especially important in sports. If a person knows more of his or her potentials and what they are able to accomplish, there will be a much greater chance for that person to find success. Therefore, more research should be done in this area in order to be able to help athletes and people in general to decide which sport would be best for them. This is especially relevant for young people, because they are trying to decide which sport they might play and they might even have an inspiration to turn professional later in life. This could relate to a quote by Paul Harris, which states, ‘Personality has power to uplift, power to depress, power to curse, and power to bless.’

Understanding the personality of athletes also prove to be beneficial to achieve a greater achievement and success in their range of sports participation. According to Cristina Bortoni Versari (2008), her research on basketball team indicated that teams exhibit a predictable personality profile and that by understanding the psyche of the athlete, performance and team productivity can be enhanced. Interpersonal communication amongst players and coaching staff can improve; players can take advantage of their personal preferences and strengths and work on developing other areas identified in the assessment process. Optimal communication and performance can be achieved by identifying the athlete’s preferred learning and personality styles. Personality types are attracted to and succeed in certain sports just like they do in certain occupations. The more athletes and coaches understand about their personalities and the team profile, the more productive they can be.

In their review of the relationship between sport and personality, Eysenck, Nias and Cox (1982) list a number of important conclusions. Based on the three well defined dimensions of personality, extraversion, neuroticism and psychotism, a number of findings are apparent: both average and superior sports person tend to be extraverted and tend to be lower on neuroticism but high on psychotism. On the other hand, extraverts are likely to be at a disadvantage in sports which the emphasis is on accuracy, such as rifle shooting and archery which call for calm, slow and deliberate preparation as researched by Davies (1989). By the same token, participants who are more extroverted might choose a team sport and where there is body contact and more aggressiveness. People who are introverted might be prone to an individual sport and a sport where there is no personal contact. Participants who involve themselves in an individual sport will be more egoistic.

Nearly all researchers and reviewers in the area have pointed out the serious methodological shortcomings in this area. Essentially, two reasons clearly exist for this disappointing research. Most such research is weak in both conception and design. In fact, it would be surprising if the result weren’t contradictory and confusing. With this in mind, the researcher will conduct surveys utilizing the examination of athletes, non-athletes, gender, extroversion, neuroticism, sensation seeking, calmness, and other variables. The researchers will then compare findings and interpret the data gathered among different types of sport, and between athletes and non-athletes. All participants will have to complete a demographic questionnaire that assess gender, age, college major, sport they participate in (only for athletes) and GPA. Personality test will be conducted inclusive of Eysenck Personality Inventory (Eysenck & Eysenck, 1975), “Global 5” (2008) and Scale from the Zuckerman-Kuhlman Personality Questionnaire (Zuckerman, 2002).

This study is concerned with correlations between measures of personality and different sport involvement within sport participation. One focus of interest is to ascertain what personality is the best for a particular sport, enabling the athletes and non athletes to find more success and interest with the least effort. Most people do not know what they are capable of achieving. The reason is that they do not know themselves well enough. To know who we are and what we are able to do is especially important in sports. If a person knows more of his or her potentials and what they are able to accomplish, there will be a much greater chance for that person to find success. This is especially relevant for young people, because they are trying to decide which sport they might play and they might even have an inspiration to turn professional later in life.

Researchers have asked for example, what causes one student to be excited about physical education class whereas others don’t even bother to dress out. Researched have questioned why some exercisers stay with their fitness program whereas others lose motivation and drop out. All the lack of interest and drop outs of fitness programs could give way to greater problem for a normal average person because they may not get involved in sports anymore. This situation may have caused the alarming raise of obesity cases in Malaysians aged 18 and above, whereby the statistics showed that obesity cases had increased by 3 times from 4.4% in year 1996 to 11.6 % in year 2006. With the huge increment in obesity cases, it is rather sad to see only a slight increment of 3% for the same years taken, for Malaysians involving in sports. Therefore, the study on personality could give an indicator for a person to select the sport that best suit their behavior and with that, they could stick the regime to improve the quality of their life.

Understanding the personality of athletes also prove to be beneficial to achieve a greater achievement and success in their range of sports participation. According to Cristina Bortoni Versari (2008), her research on basketball team indicated that teams exhibit a predictable personality profile and that by understanding the psyche of the athlete, performance and team productivity can be enhanced. Interpersonal communication amongst players and coaching staff can improve; players can take advantage of their personal preferences and strengths and work on developing other areas identified in the assessment process. Optimal communication and performance can be achieved by identifying the athlete’s preferred learning and personality styles. Personality types are attracted to and succeed in certain sports just like they do in certain occupations. The more athletes and coaches understand about their personalities and the team profile, the more productive they can be.

This study is apparently the early attempt to study the relationship between personality type and sport preferences in Malaysia. The focus of interest in to ascertain the type of personality best suited for a particular sport, enabling athletes to find more success with the least effort. Besides that, it is easier to encourage non athletes to pick up certain physical activities or sports after their type of personality being known. This collides with the human nature whereby, whenever a person knows of his or her potential, they will further gain interest and develop deeper involvement and passion in it.

This theory was originated by Sigmund Freud in 1933; with a number of psychoanalytic theorists have proposed modifications to the original theory, namely Carl Jung, Erich Fromm and Erik Erickson (Mischel, 1986). This theory is based primarily upon self analysis and extensive clinical observation of neurotics. However, this theory has had little direct impact on sport personality research, due to their clinical and psychological focus. In Freud’s view, the id, ego and superego form the tripartite structure of personality; in a sense the id is the pleasure seeking mechanism. In contrast, the ego represents the conscious, logical, reality oriented aspect of the personality. The superego represents the conscience of the individual; it is the internalized moral standards of societies impressed upon the person by parental control and the process of socialization.

From the view of social learning theory, human behavior is a function of social learning and the strength of the situation. An individual behaves according to how he or she has learned to behave, consistent with environmental constraints. The origin of social learning theory can be traced to Clark Hull’s 1943 Theory of Learning. Hull’s stimulus response theory says that an individual’s behavior in any given situation is a function of his or her learned experiences. According to Bandura in the year 1977, behavior is best explained as a function of observational learning. A considerable amount of research in sport psychology has utilized the social learning approach.

The basic position or factory theory is that personality can be described in terms of traits possessed by individuals. Traits are considered to be stable, enduring and consistent across a variety of differing situations. Individuals differ in each trait due to genetic differences. Among the most ardent advocates of trait psychology are psychologists such as Alport, Cattell and Eysenck. The great strength of this theory is that it allows for the easy and objective measurement of personality through the use of inventories. Conversely, the weakness of the trait approach is that it may fail to consider the whole person, since personality according to this approach is represented by a collection of specific traits.

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