Intensity and direction as dimensions of competitive state anxiety and relationships with competitiveness.

Research paper by G G Jones, A A Swain

Indexed on: 01 Apr '92Published on: 01 Apr '92Published in: Perceptual and motor skills


This study examined differences in intensity and direction of symptoms of competitive state anxiety in high and low competitive subjects from the sports of rugby union, basketball, soccer, and field hockey. The 69 men were dichotomized via a median-split into high and low competitive groups based on their scores on the Sport Orientation Questionnaire. All subjects completed a modified version of the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 30 minutes prior to competition. This inventory included the original intensity scale plus a direction scale on which subjects rated the extent the experienced intensity of each symptom was either facilitative or debilitative to subsequent performance. There were no significant group differences on intensity of cognitive anxiety or of somatic anxiety or on direction of somatic anxiety; however, the highly competitive group of 34 subjects reported their anxiety as more facilitative and less debilitative than the low competitive group (n = 35). This supports the proposal that sports performers' directional perceptions of their anxiety symptoms may provide further understanding of the competitive state-anxiety response.