The effects of a stressor on a specific motor task on individuals displaying selected personality factors



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Purpose of the Study: The purpose of the study was to identify selected personality traits essential for success in a stressful environment while performing a simple motor task. It was within this premise that a person possessing particular personality traits would be successful in spite of any extenuating distractor. The two personality traits investigated were emotional stability and self-confidence. Being highly skilled in a particular area can only account for a portion of success. Having the psychological components still adds another measure to becoming a successful performer. Procedure: The subjects for this study were selected from the San Jacinto (junior) College's Women's Physical Education program. The Cattell 16 Personality Factor Inventory was administered. Students with high (sten 7 higher) or low (sten 4 or lower) Factor of C or O were randomly selected for this study and randomly placed in a control or experimental group. A separate sample for Factor C and O was selected with students meeting criteria for inclusion in both groups being randomly placed in one subject pool. A pilot study conducted by the investigator indicated that a tape recording of noises such as gun shots, whistles, horns, symbols and metal dropping acted as a significant stressor. The performance measured was a hand-eye coordination task on a rotor pursuit apparatus. After administering the 16 PF to 195 students and randomly selecting subjects who met criteria for the study, subjects performed on the rotor pursuit apparatus. Subjects in the control group executed fifteen-ten second trials on the rotor pursuit. The experimental group performed the same task except during each trial noises from a tape recorder were presented. The total testing time for each subject was eight minutes. The score for each trial was recorded. The data were treated using a three factor mixed design with repeated measures. This allowed the investigator to study not only the relationship of personality on performance under stress, but repeated measures were considered to determine whether there were any effects during the treatment. This design permits not only the evaluation of the overall experimental effects, but also the evaluation of general changes and interactions of the variables during performance. [...]



Performance--Psychological aspects