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Psychology   >   Sports Psychology – Models and Theories

Anxiety and Attention

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Sports Psychology – Models and Theories

In this course, Dr Dan Bishop (Brunel University London) explores a range of topics in sports and exercise psychology. In the first lecture, we think how anxiety impacts sport performance. In the second lecture, we think about the relationship between exercise and mental health. In the third lecture, we think about the reinvestment model and its impact on decision-making. Next, we think about learning by observing and imagining. In the fifth and final lecture, we think about different psychological models of the athlete personality.

Anxiety and Attention

In this lecture, we think about how anxiety impacts sport performance, focusing in particular on: (i) the cognitive effects of anxiety and how it affects our ability to attend to the task at hand; (ii) Attentional Control Theory, which proposes that anxiety creates worrisome thoughts which occupy our working memory and impair its executive functions, leading to a reduced processing efficiency; (iii) the fact that anxiety can cause our attention to become more stimulus-driven, making it harder to control our gaze behaviour; (iv) the somatic effects of anxiety, including increased heart rate and blood pressure and changes in muscle tension (v) some research studies which have investigated the effects of anxiety on sport performance empirically.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Bishop, D. (2019, November 18). Sports Psychology – Models and Theories - Anxiety and Attention [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Bishop, D. "Sports Psychology – Models and Theories – Anxiety and Attention." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 18 Nov 2019,

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Dr Dan Bishop

Dr Dan Bishop

Brunel University London