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The relative impact of cognitive anxiety and self-confidence upon sport performance: A meta-analysis

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This meta-analysis (k = 48) investigated two relationships in competitive sport: (1) state cognitive anxiety with performance and (2) state self-confidence with performance. The cognitive anxiety mean effect size was r = -0.10 (P < 0.05). The self-confidence mean effect size was r = 0.24 (P < 0.001). A paired-samples t-test revealed that the magnitude of the self-confidence mean effect size was significantly greater than that of the cognitive anxiety mean effect size. The moderator variables for the cognitive anxiety-performance relationship were sex and standard of competition. The mean effect size for men (r = -0.22) was significantly greater than the mean effect size for women (r = -0.03). The mean effect size for high-standard competition (r = -0.27) was significantly greater than that for comparatively low-standard competition (r = -0.06). The significant moderator variables for the self-confidence-performance relationship were sex, standard of competition and measurement. The mean effect size for men (r = 0.29) was significantly greater than that for women (r = 0.04) and the mean effect size for high-standard competition (r = 0.33) was significantly greater than that for low-standard competition (r = 0.16). The mean effect size derived from studies employing the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (r = 0.19) was significantly smaller than the mean effect size derived from studies using other measures of self-confidence (r = 0.38). Measurement issues are discussed and future research directions are offered in light of the results.
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The relative impact of cognitive anxiety and
self-confidence upon sport performance: a meta-analysis
TIM WOODMAN* and LEW HARDY
School of Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2DG, UK
Accepted 21 February 2003
This meta-analysis (k = 48) investigated two relationships in competitive sport: (1) state cognitive anxiety with
performance and (2) state self-confidence with performance. The cognitive anxiety mean effect size was
r=70.10 (P 50.05). The self-confidence mean effect size was r=0.24 (P 50.001). A paired-samples t-test
revealed that the magnitude of the self-confidence mean effect size was significantly greater than that of the
cognitive anxiety mean effect size. The moderator variables for the cognitive anxiety–performance relationship
were sex and standard of competition. The mean effect size for men (r = 70.22) was significantly greater than
the mean effect size for women (r = 70.03). The mean effect size for high-standard competition (r = 70.27) was
significantly greater than that for comparatively low-standard competition (r = 70.06). The significant
moderator variables for the self-confidence–performance relationship were sex, standard of competition and
measurement. The mean effect size for men (r = 0.29) was significantly greater than that for women (r = 0.04)
and the mean effect size for high-standard competition (r = 0.33) was significantly greater than that for low-
standard competition (r = 0.16). The mean effect size derived from studies employing the Competitive State
Anxiety Inventory-2 (r = 0.19) was significantly smaller than the mean effect size derived from studies using
other measures of self-confidence (r = 0.38). Measurement issues are discussed and future research directions
are offered in light of the results.
Keywords: cognitive anxiety, meta-analysis, self-confidence, sport performance.
Introduction
The relationship between anxiety and sport perfor-
mance has attracted much research attention over the
past 20 years, and researchers have tried to clarify this
relationship by advancing severa l models and theories.
These include multidimensional anxiety theory (Mar-
tens et al., 1990), catastrophe models (Hardy , 1990,
1996a), reversal theory (Apter, 1982; Kerr, 1990) and
zones of optimal functioning models (Hanin, 1980,
1986).
In multidimensional anxiety theory, Martens et al.
(1990) proposed a series of two-dimensional rel ation-
ships between cognitive anxiety, somatic anxiety, self-
confidence and performance. Cognitive anxiety was
defined as ‘negative expectations and cognitive con-
cerns about oneself, the situation at hand, and potential
consequences’ (Morris et al ., 1981, p. 541). Somatic
anxiety was conceptualized as the perception of one’s
physiological arousal. Self-confidence was conceptua-
lized as one’s belief in meeting the challenge of the task
to be performe d. In multidimensional anxiety theory
(Martens et al., 1990), cognitive anxiety is hypothesized
to have a negative linear relationship with performance;
somatic anxiety is hypothesized to have a quadratic
(inverted-U shaped) relationship with performance; and
self-confidence is hypothesized to have a positive linear
relationship with performance.
The hypothesized neg ative linear relationship be-
tween cognitive anxiety and performance was largely
based upon theories of attention (e.g. Wine, 1971,
1980), whereby cognitive resources are taken up by
worrying thoughts and so are not available for use on
the task at hand. As Martens et al. (1990) conceptua-
lized cognitive anxiety and self-confidence as lying at
opposite ends of a continuum, they hypothesized that
self-confidence and performance would be related in a
positive linear fashion. However, the rationale for the
hypothesized inverted-U relationship between somatic
anxiety and performance is much less clear. Martens et
al. (1990) cited Weinberg’s (1978) research, which
suggests that too much muscular tension will le ad to a
deterioration in performance. Howeve r, Martens et al.
* Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
e-mail: t.woodman@bangor.ac.uk
Journal of Sports Sciences, 2003, 21, 443–457
Journal of Sports Sciences ISSN 0264-0414 print/ISSN 1466-447X online
#
2003 Taylor & Francis Ltd
DOI: 10.1080/0264041031000101809
offered no theoretical explanation for the hypothesized
curvilinear relationship between the perception of one’s
physiological arousal (i.e. somatic anxiety) and perfor-
mance (see Woodman and Hardy, 2001a). Thus,
although somatic anxiety is a useful indirect measure
of the physiological indices of anxiety, it is of limited
theoretical value in explaining the relationship between
physiological arousal and performance. Cons equently,
we focus here only on the effects of cognitive anxiety
and self-confidence upon sport performance.
Several investigations have been cond ucted to test
the proposed relationships between cognitive anxiety
and performance and between self-confidence and
performance. For example, Burton (1988) found a
negative linear trend between cognitive anxiety and
swimming performance and a positive linear trend
between self-confidence and performa nce. In the two
samples investigated by Burton, cognitive anxiety
accounted for up to 46% of swimming performance
variance and self-confidence accounted for up to 21%.
Gould et al. (1984) also found a significant negative
linear relationship between cognitive anxiety and
performance, but no significant trend between self-
confidence and performance. Conversely, Mart in and
Gill (1991) found self-confidence to be significantly
and positively related to distance running perfor-
mance, but found no significant relationship between
cognitive anxiety and running performance. Similarly,
in their study of pistol shoo ters, Gould et al. (1987)
found no significant relationship between cognitive
anxiety and performance. However, in that study, a
significant negative relationship between self-confi-
dence and performance was revealed. Other studies
have revea led no significant relationships between
cognitive anxiety and performance (Maynard and
Cotton, 1993; Hammermeister and Burton, 1995 ;
Vadocz et al., 1997) or between self-confidence and
performance (Williams and Krane, 1992; Maynard
and Cotton, 1993). Thus, the relative impact of
cognitive anxiety and self-confidence upon competitive
sport performance remains unclear .
The inventory that was used to measure cognitive
anxiety and self-confidence in most of the above studies
was the Compe titive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-
2; Martens et al., 1990). The CSAI-2 was origin ally
intended to be an anxiety scale comprising two
subscales: cognitive anxiety and somatic anxiety. How-
ever, in the exploratory factor analysis of the items
comprising the CSAI-2, Martens et al. (1990) found
that the cognitive anxiety items effectively separated
into two factors, one that included negatively phrased
items and one that included positively phrased items.
These factors were subsequently labelled cognitive
anxiety and self-confidence, respectively. Thus, a self-
confidence subscale was also included in the CSAI-2.
In the discussion of their factor analyses, Martens et al.
(1990) stated: ‘These findings sugg est that cognitive A-
state and state self-confidence represent opposite ends
of a cognitive evaluation continuum, state self-con-
fidence being viewed as the absence of cognitive A-
state, or conversely, cognitive A-state being the lack of
state self-confidence’ (p. 129).
Given that cognitive anxiety and self-confidence
emerged as orthogonal (i.e. independent) factors in
these factor analyses, it is surprising that Martens et al.
(1990) should view them as bipolar (i.e. interdepen-
dent). Furthermore, there appears to be sufficient
evidence to suggest that cognitive anxiety and self-
confidence are meaningfully distinct constructs (Bur-
rows et al., 1977; Thayer, 1978; Gould et al., 1984,
1987; Hardy and Whitehead, 1984; Jones and Cale,
1989; Hardy, 1996b; Parfitt and Pates, 1999). For
example, although Gould et al. (1984) found a
significant negative linear relationship between cogni-
tive anxiety and performance, they found no signifi-
cant trend between self-confidence and performance.
Also, in their work on the antecedents and temporal
patterning of cognitive anxiety and self-confidence,
Jones et al. (1990, 1991) provided more evidence for
the relative independence of cognitive anxiety and self-
confidence. Finally, both Hardy (1996b) and Parfitt
and Pates (1999) found that self-confidence accounted
for a significant proportion of performance variance
over and above that accounted for by cognitive
anxiety.
In light of the discrepant results revealed between
different studies that have reported cognitive anxie ty–
performance and self-confidence–performance relation-
ships, it is important to consider which variables might
be moderating these relationships. We consider three
major moderator variables: (a) measurement, (b) type
of sport and (c) individual differences.
Measurement
Intra-individual versus inter-individual measurement
Many researchers (e.g. Sonstroem and Bernardo,
1982; Burton, 1988) have contended that inter-
individual measurements are inappropriate when ex-
amining the relationships between anxiety and perfor-
mance, as such measurements are not sensitive to
individual differences in anxiety or performance. As
intra-individual measurements of anxiety, self-confi-
dence and performance control for such differen ces,
we hypothesized that the relationships between cogni-
tive anxiety and performance and between self-
confidence and performance would be stronger when
these constructs were measured intra-individually
rather than inter-individually.
444 Woodman and Hardy
Questionnaire
Several criticisms have been levelled at the Competitive
State Anxiety Inventory-2 as a measure of pre-
competition affect. These criticisms include the use of
the term ‘concern as a measure of cognitive anxiety
(Burton and Naylor, 1997; Woodman and Hardy,
2001a), its lack of specificity in relation to the task
(Moritz et al., 2000) and its poor overall fit (Lane et al.,
1999). However, researchers continue to use the CSAI-
2, probably because there is no obvious alternative
validated questionnaire that measures pre-competition
anxiety and self-confidence. In light of these issues, we
examined the use of the CSAI-2 (as opposed to other
measures of com petitive state cognitive anxiety and self-
confidence) as a possible moderator of the relationships
between cognitive anxiety and performance and be-
tween self-confidence and performance.
Type of sport
Sports can be broadly categorized into team sports and
individual sports. As there may be more pressure and
personal exposure associated with individual sports
than team sports, we hypothesized that cognitive
anxiety and self-confidence would be more strongly
associated with athletes’ perfo rmance in individual
sports.
Individual differences
Standard of competition
High-standard competition may be associated with
increased pressure. Cognitive anxiety probably reflects,
in part, athletes’ inability to deal with this pressure.
Conversely, self-confidenc e probably reflects, in part,
athletes’ ability to deal with this increased pressure.
Thus, cognitive anxiety and self-confidence are more
likely to affect subsequent perfo rmance in high-stan-
dard competitive settings. Thus, we hypothesized that
the relationships between cognitive anxiety and perfor-
mance and between self-confidence and performance
would be stronger for high-standard athletes than
relatively low-standard athletes.
Sex
Women typically report higher cognitive anxiety and
lower self-confidence than men (cf. Martens et al.,
1990; Jones et al., 1991). If it is accepted that there is a
cognitive anxiety threshold beyond which cognitive
anxiety will more likely affect performance, then
cognitive anxiety and performance should be more
strongly related for women if this threshold is high. This
is because women’s cognitive anxiety would be dis-
tributed below and above the threshold, whereas men’s
cognitive anxiety would largely be below the threshold.
Similarly, cognitive anxiety and performance may be
more strongly related for men if this threshold is low, as
men’s cognitive anxiety would be distributed below and
above this threshold, whereas women’s cognitive
anxiety would largely be above the threshold. The same
argument holds for self-confidence. That is, if there is a
threshold below which self-confidence will more likely
affect performance, then self-confidence may be more
strongly related to performance for men if this threshold
is high, as men’s self-confidence would be distributed
below and above this threshold, whereas most women’s
self-confidence would largely be below the threshold.
Similarly, self-confidence and performance should be
more strongly related for women if this threshold is low,
as women’s self-confidence would be distributed below
and above the threshold, whereas men’s self-confidence
would be largely above such a threshold. As the
existence of such thresholds is largely speculative, we
investigated sex as a moderator variable but did not
formulate any specific hypotheses regarding the differ-
ences between the sexes in the strength of relationships
between cognitive anxiety and performance or between
self-confidence and performance.
In summary, the aims of the present meta-analysis
were threefold: (1) To examine the fundamental
predictions of multidimensional anxiety theory; namely,
that cognitive anxiety has a negative relationship with
performance and that self-confidence has a positive
relationship with performance. (2) To examine the
relative magnitude of the cognitive anxiety and self-
confidence effect sizes to identify which (if either) is the
more important and whether it is empirically reasonable
to consider them as lying at opposite ends of the same
continuum. (3) To examine the moderating variables in
the relationships between cognitive anxiety and perfor-
mance and between self-confidence and perfo rmance.
Methods
Literature search
Computer-based literature searches were conducted to
locate published and unpublished research on cogni-
tive anxiety, self-confidence and performance. The
databases used for this search were: Applied Social
Sciences Index and Abstracts (ASSIA), Bath Informa-
tion and Data Services (BIDS), PsycINFO, PsycLIT,
Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) and Sport
Discus. The last search was conducted at the begin-
ning of January 2002. Keywords used for the searches
were: ‘cognitive anxiety’, ‘confidence’, ‘sport’ and
445Cognitive anxiety and self-confidence meta-analysis
‘performance’. Several ‘wild card’ searches were also
conducted to ensure that the search did not miss
studies containing related words such as ‘anxiety’,
‘worry’ and ‘competition’. The reference lists of the
located studies were examined for further possible
articles that might fulfil the criteria for inclusion.
Studies were included in the meta-analysis if they
fulfilled the following criteria:
1. A measure of state cognitive anxiety or state self-
confidence was taken before a sport competition.
2. Comp etitive sport performance was measured in a
field setting.
Statistical methods
The meta-analytic procedures used in the present study
are described in Rosenthal (1991). Effect sizes were
calculated for those studies that satisfied the criteria for
inclusion. The correlation coefficients (r) between
cognitive anxiety and performance and betwe en self-
confidence and performance were used to compute
effect sizes. As the population value of r gets further
from zero, the distribution of r’s becomes more and
more skewed (Rosenthal, 1991). Fisher’s (1928)
transformation converts r to z
r
, which results in a more
normal distribution. Hence, the present study used z
r
as
an estimate of effect size. The transformation from r to
z
r
is:
z
r
¼ 0:5 log
e
½ð1 þ rÞ=ð1 rÞ
To calculate the significance of the effect sizes, the
standard normal deviate Z was used. The transforma-
tion from r to Z is:
Z ¼ r
p
n
where n = sample size.
The cognitive anxiety Z’s were reversed to reflect
the expected (negative) direction of the effect. For
example, if r=70.20 and n = 100, then Z =2. If no
data were available to calculate the effect size (r)or
the level of significance (P, one-tailed), the primary
author of the study in question was contacted by
telephone or electronic mail. If clarification of the
data was not obtained from the primary author, P
was assumed to be 0.50 and r was assumed to be
0.00. This is because the omission of studies that
report non-significant results can artificially inflate
the effect size. However, this procedure is conserva-
tive and can result in effect size estimates that are
too low. Thus, following Rosenthal’s (1995) recom-
mendations, both procedures are presented in the
present study.
The following methods (Rosenthal, 1991) were used
for transforming a t statistic to r,oranF ratio to r,
respectively:
r ¼½t
2
=ðt
2
þ dfÞ
0:5
where df (the degrees of freedom) = n
1
+n
2
72, and
r ¼fF
1
;
-
=½F
1
;
-
þdf errorg
0:5
where F
1,-
represents any F with one degree of freedom
in the nume rator.
If more than one effect size estimate was availa ble
from one study, the method of mean result (Rosenthal,
1991) was employed. That is, each r from the study was
first converted to z
r
before calculating the mean of these
transformed effect sizes. To calculate the standard
normal deviate Z, the mean z
r
was converted back to r
using the following equation:
r ¼ðe
2zr
1Þ=ðe
2zr
þ 1Þ
where e is the base of the system of natural logarithms
(e&2.71828).
Study characteristics
Of the 48 studies retai ned for the meta-analysis, 46
contributed a cognitive anxiety effect size estimate and
43 contributed a self-confidence effect size estimate.
Forty-one of the 48 studies contributed both cognitive
anxiety and self-confidence effect size estimates to the
meta-analysis. Thirty-three studies were reported be-
tween 1991 and 2001, 14 studies were reported between
1981 and 1990, and one study was reported in 1979.
Forty-four studies were reported in journals and four
studies were reported in theses (three master’s theses
and one doctoral thesis). We decided to include the
results from theses in the meta-analyses to reduce the file
drawer threat (see File drawer analysis). However, given
that theses undergo a less stringent review process than
articles published in peer-review journals, we inclu ded
the source of the research (i.e. peer-review journal or
thesis) as a moderator variable in the analyses (see
Moderator variables). Finally, of the 14 authors con-
tacted for further information about the data, 10 (71%)
replied and 8 (57%) provided the necessary information
for the correlation coefficient not to be assumed as r=0.
Results
Outliers
Outliers were defined as values greater than 1.5 box-
lengths from the box, where the box represents the
446 Woodman and Hardy
range of scores from the 25th to the 75th percentile.
These outliers were removed from the data set. As a
result of this procedure, three cognitive anxiety effect
sizes and one self-confidence effect size were removed
from the data set. Consequently, the data set contained
47 studies, including 43 cognitive anxiety effect sizes
and 42 self-confidence effect sizes. A summary of all the
studies included in the meta-analysis is presented in
Table 1.
Descriptive statistics
Table 2 displays a stem-and-leaf plot of the cognitive
anxiety effect sizes included in the meta-analysis.
Table 3 displays a stem-and-leaf plot of the self-
confidence effect sizes included in the meta-analysis.
Table 4 contains information about central tendency,
variability, significance tests and confidence intervals
(using studies as the sampling unit) for the cognitive
anxiety data. This table presents two sets of results:
one with all cognitive anxiety studie s, the other
without those studies where r was assumed to be
zero. Table 5 contains this information for the self-
confidence data.
Effect sizes and significance testing
Cognitive anxiety
Of the 43 studies reporting a relationship between
cognitive anxiety and performance, 26 (60%) reported a
negative relationship, 7 (16%) reported non-significant
results (so r was assumed to be zero) and 10 (23%)
reported a positive relationship. The mean effe ct size
was 70.10. When studies were weighted for degrees of
freedom, the mean effect size was 70.11. When those
studies where the effect size was assumed to be 0 were
omitted from the analyses, the mean effect size was
70.12 and the weight ed mean effect size was 70.13 .
The Stouffer Z associated with the mean effect size was
statistically significant (Z = 4.73, P 50.001). The t-test
for the mean z
r
was also significant (t
42
= 2.73,
P 50.01).
Self-confidence
Of the 42 studies reporting a relationship between
self-confidence and performance, 32 (76%) reported a
positive relationship, 6 (14%) reported non-significant
results (so r was assumed to be zero) and 4 (10%)
reported a neg ative relationship. The mean effect size
was 0.24. When studies were weighted for deg rees of
freedom, the mean effect size was 0.23. When studies
where the effect size was assumed to be 0 were
omitted from the analyses, the mean effect size was
0.27 and the weighted mean effect size was 0.27. The
Stouffer Z associated with the mean effect size was
statistically significant (Z = 10.90, P 50.001). The t-
test for the mean z
r
was also significant (t
41
= 6.38,
P 50.001).
File drawer analysis
Non-significant results are less likely to be published
and more likely to remain in the file drawers of
researchers’ laboratories (Rosenthal, 1991). If adding
only a few such non-significant studies renders the
mean effect size non-significant, then the findings of a
meta-analysis are not robust to the threat posed by
studies hidden away in researchers’ file drawers.
Rosenthal (1991) suggested some simple calcul ations
for determining the extent to which a meta-analysis is
robust to this file drawer threat. The two questions that
are addressed here are: (1) How many non-significant
studies (where r=0, P=0.50) would have to be
unearthed to make the probability of the effect size
determined by the meta-analysis non-significant? (2)
What constitutes an unlikely number of unearthed non-
significant studies? If the number of non-significant
studies that would have to be unearthed is greater than
the ‘unlikely number of unearthed non-significant
studies’, then the meta-analysis is said to be robust to
the file drawer threat. The following figures for
cognitive anxiety and self-confidence are based on fairly
conservative calculations suggested by Rosenthal
(1991).
Cognitive anxiety
For the probability of the cognitive anxiety effect size to
become non-significant (P 40.05), 312 studies with a
mean probability of 0.50 would hav e to be stored away
in researchers’ file drawers. A figure of 225 would have
been considered robust to the file drawer threat. Thus,
the cognitive anxiety data are robust to the file drawer
threat.
Self-confidence
For the probability of the self-confidence effect size to
become non-significant, 1801 studies with a mean
probability of 0.50 would have to be stored away. A
figure of 220 would have been considered robust to the
file drawer threat. Thus, the self-confidence data are
highly robust to the file drawer threat.
Moderator variables
Heterogeneity tests revealed that the effect sizes were
heterogeneous for cognitive anxiety (w
2
42
¼ 146:73,
447Cognitive anxiety and self-confidence meta-analysis
Table 1. Summary of the studies (k = 47) included in the meta-analysis
Cognitive
anxiety
Self-
confidence
Authors Measures Sport nr Z r Z
Barnes et al. (1986) CSAI-2 Swimming
14 70.39 1.46 0.19 0.71
Bejek and Hagtvet (1996) CSAI-2 Artistic gymnastics
69 70.09 0.76 0.09 0.72
Bird and Horn (1990) CSAI-2 Softball
161 0.21 72.63 0.05 0.58
Burton (1988) CSAI-2 Swimming
98 70.39 3.85 0.30 2.97
Chapman et al. (1997) CSAI-2 Tae kwon-do
142 70.37 4.36 0.43 5.10
Cox et al. (2001) ARS-2 Basketball
248 70.13 2.06 0.15 2.33
Duesing (1984) CSAI-2 Middle-/long-distance
running
40 0.31 71.97
Edwards and Hardy (1996) CSAI-2 Netball
45 0.10 70.67 70.17 70.12
Gayton and Nickless (1987) SSCI Marathon
35 0.36 2.13
Gould et al. (1981) Wrestling questionnaire Wrestling
49 0.20 71.42 0.52 3.64
Gould et al. (1984) CSAI-2 Wrestling
37 70.29 1.74 0.02 0.09
Gould et al. (1987) CSAI-2 Pistol shooting
39 .0* 0.00 70.27 71.67
Gould et al. (1993) CSAI-2 Middle-/long-distance
running
11 70.07 0.23
Grasso (1999) CSAI-2 Basketball
42 70.12 0.76 0.18 1.17
Guest and Cox (1999) MRF-3 Golf
216 70.27 3.97 0.35 5.14
Hammermeister and Burton (1995) CSAI-2 Endurance sports
293 70.08 1.37
Hardy (1996a) CSAI-2 Golf
8 0.10 70.27 0.16 0.44
Highlen and Bennett (1979) Wrestling questionnaire Wrestling
39 0.56 3.47
Jerome and Williams (2000) CSAI-2 Bowling
143 .0* 0.00 .0* 0.00
Jones et al. (1993) CSAI-2 Artistic gymnastics
48 70.01 0.07 0.29 2.01
Krane and Williams (1987) CSAI-2 Golf and gymnastics
80 .0* 0.00 .0* 0.00
Krane et al. (1992) CSAI-2 Golf
100 0.04 70.40 0.07 0.70
Krane (1993) CSAI-2 Soccer
16 .0* 0.00 .0* 0.00
Martin and Gill (1991) CSAI-2 & SSCI Middle-/long-distance
running
86 70.10 0.86 0.57 4.83
Maynard and Howe (1987) CSAI-2 Rugby
22 70.20 0.93 70.01 70.05
Maynard and Cotton (1993) CSAI-2 Field hockey
20 .0* 0.00 .0* 0.00
Maynard et al. (1995) CSAI-2 Soccer
24 70.14 0.66 0.40 1.94
McAuley (1985) CSAI-2 Golf
7 70.11 0.28 0.01 0.02
McCann et al. (1992) CSAI-2 Road cycling
23 70.42 2.01 0.37 1.77
McKay et al. (1997) CSAI-2 Golf
15 0.07 0.27
Moraes (1987) CSAI-2 Judo
70 .0* 0.00 .0* 0.00
Parfitt and Pates (1999) CSAI-2 Basketball
12 70.07 0.26 0.49 1.69
Perreault and Marisi (1997) CSAI-2 Wheelchair basketball
37 70.02 0.23 70.02 70.15
Psychountaki and Zervas (2000) SCWI-C & SSCQ-C Swimming
143 70.12 1.44 0.22 2.58
Rodrigo et al. (1990) CSAI-2 Soccer
51 70.52 3.71 0.16 1.14
Smith et al. (2001) MRF-3 Volleyball
12 70.54 1.87 0.44 1.52
Swain and Jones (1996) CSAI-2 Basketball
10 70.18 0.57 0.34 1.07
Taylor (1987) CSAI-2 Mixture
84 0.35 72.09 0.34 2.05
Terry and Slade (1995) CSAI-2 Karate
208 70.46 6.49 0.42 5.92
Terry et al. (1996) CSAI-2 Tennis
100 70.12 1.15 0.42 4.20
Thelwell and Maynard (1998) CSAI-2 Cricket
20 70.32 1.43 0.64 2.86
Vadocz et al. (1997) CSAI-2 Roller skating
57 .0* 0.00 0.51 4.48
Wiggins and Henson (2000) CSAI-2 Tennis
7 0.05 70.13
Williams and Krane (1992) CSAI-2 Golf
83 70.22 2.00 .0* 0.00
Woodman et al. (1997) CSAI-2 Bowling
25 0.05 70.25
Yang (1994) CSAI-2 Mixture
56 0.49 3.67
Zhu and Fang (1998) CSAI-2 Distance running
88 0.39 73.69 0.26 2.39
Note: CSAI-2 = Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2; ARS-2 = Anxiety Rating Scale-2; SSCI = State Sport-Confidence Inventory; MRF-
3 = Mental Readiness Form-3; SCWI-C = State Competitive Worries Inventory for Children; SSCQ-C = State Sport Confidence Questionnaire for
Children.
* Not significant, effect size assumed to be zero, P = 0.50, one-tailed.
448 Woodman and Hardy
P 50.001) and self-confidence (w
2
41
¼ 138:29,
P 50.001).
As the Rosenthal method can inflate effect size
estimates in the heterogeneous case (see Field, 2001),
we re-ran the meta-analysis using the Hunter-Schmidt
method (Hunter and Schmidt, 1990; Schmidt and
Hunter, 1999), which is more conservative. This
analysis revealed similar results for both cognitive
anxiety (mean r=70.11, Z = 3.32, P 50.001; mean r
excluding non-significant results = 70.12, Z = 3.36,
P 50.001) and self-confidence (mean r=0.22,
Z = 7.33, P 50.001; mean r excluding non-significant
results = 0.26, Z = 8.28, P 50.001). Consequently, we
proceeded with the Rosenthal method only.
The heterogeneity of the effect sizes suggests that
other factors were moderating the relationships between
Table 2. Cognitive anxiety stem-and-leaf plot
Stem
Leaf (with all studies
included), k=43 Stem
Leaf (excluding r=0
results), k=36
+0.4 +0.4
+0.3 1 4 9 +0.3 1 4 9
+0.2 0 0 +0.2 0 0
+0.1 0 +0.1 0
+0.0 00000003559 +0.0 3559
70.0 126789 70.0 126789
70.1 001223379 70.1 001223379
70.2 1 7 8 70.2 1 7 8
70.3 2689 70.3 2 6 8 9
70.4 2 6 70.4 2 6
70.5 2 4 70.5 2 4
70.6 70.6
Table 3. Self-confidence stem-and-leaf plot
Stem
Leaf (with all studies
included), k=42 Stem
Leaf (excluding
r=0 results), k=36
+0.7 +0.7
+0.6 4 +0.6 4
+0.5 1 2 6 7 +0.5 1 2 6 7
+0.4 0223499 +0.4 0223499
+0.3 044567 +0.3 044567
+0.2 2 6 9 +0.2 2 6 9
+0.1 56689 +0.1 56689
+0.0 000000125779 +0.0 125779
70.0 1 2 70.0 1 2
70.1 7 70.1 7
70.2 7 70.2 7
Table 4. Statistical summary of the cognitive anxiety studies (k = 43) included in the meta-analysis
Statistic
Value (including assumed r=0 results),
k=43
Value (excluding assumed r=0 results),
k=36
Central tendency (r)
Unweighted mean 70.10 70.12
Weighted mean 70.11 70.13
Significance tests
Combined Stouffer Z (SZ/Hk) 4.73, P 5 0.001 5.17, P 5 0.001
t-test for mean z
r
2.73, P 5 0.01 2.77, P 5 0.01
Variability (r)
Maximum 0.39 0.39
Quartile 3 ( Q
3
) 0.00 0.05
Median 70.08 70.11
Quartile 1 ( Q
1
) 70.22 70.28
Minimum 70.54 70.54
Q
3
7Q
1
0.22 0.33
Standard deviation (SD) 0.22 0.24
Standard error (SE; SD/Hk) 0.03 0.04
Confidence intervals (r)
90% (r + critical t
(df = k 71)
SE) 70.15 to 70.04 70.18 to 70.05
95% (r + critical t
(df = k 71)
SE) 70.16 to 70.03 70.19 to 70.04
99% (r + critical t
(df = k 71)
SE) 70.18 to 70.01 70.22 to 70.01
449Cognitive anxiety and self-confidence meta-analysis
Table 5. Statistical summary of the self-confidence studies (k = 42) included in the meta-analysis
Statistic
Value (including assumed r=0 results),
k=42
Value (excluding assumed r=0 results),
k=36
Central tendency (r)
Unweighted mean 0.24 0.27
Weighted mean 0.23 0.27
Significance tests
Combined Stouffer Z (SZ/Hk) 10.90, P 5 0.001 11.77, P 5 0.001
t-test for mean z
r
6.38, P 5 0.001 6.96, P 5 0.001
Variability (r)
Maximum 0.64 0.64
Quartile 3 ( Q
3
) 0.42 0.43
Median 0.20 0.30
Quartile 1 ( Q
1
) 0.01 0.08
Minimum 70.27 70.27
Q
3
7Q
1
0.41 0.35
Standard deviation (SD) 0.22 0.22
Standard error (SE; SD/Hk) 0.03 0.04
Confidence intervals (r)
90% (r + critical t
(df = k 71)
SE) 0.18 to 0.29 0.21 to 0.33
95% (r + critical t
(df = k 71)
SE) 0.17 to 0.30 0.20 to 0.34
99% (r + critical t
(df = k 71)
SE) 0.15 to 0.32 0.18 to 0.37
Table 6. Summary of the effect sizes (r) for the moderator variables
Cognitive anxiety mean effect size Self-confidence mean effect size
Measurement Inter-individual Intra-individual Inter-individual Intra-individual
70.08 70.11 0.24 0.20
(70.17 to 0.01) (70.21 to 70.01) (0.17 to 0.31) (0.04 to 0.36)
CSAI-2 Other CSAI-2 Other
70.09 70.18 0.19 0.38
a
(70.16 to 70.02) (70.54 to 0.18) (0.11 to 0.27) (0.22 to 0.54)
Sport type Individual Team Individual Team
70.09 70.14 0.25 0.19
(70.19 to 0.01) (70.26 to 70.02) (0.16 to 0.34) (0.05 to 0.34)
Individual differences High standard Low standard High standard Low standard
70.27** 70.06 0.33* 0.16
(70.43 to 70.11) (70.13 to 0.01) (0.19 to 0.47) (0.06 to 0.25)
Men Women Men Women
70.22*** 70.03 0.29*** 0.04
(70.34 to 70.10) (70.11 to 0.05) (0.18 to 0.40) (70.05 to 0.13)
a
Significantly higher than the CSAI-2 (P 5 0.05). * Significantly higher than low standard (P 5 0.05). ** Significantly higher (in absolute terms)
than low standard (P 5 0.01). *** Significantly higher (in absolute terms) than women (P 5 0.005). Confidence intervals (95%) are presented in
parentheses.
450 Woodman and Hardy
cognitive anxiety and performance and betwe en self-
confidence and performance. Measurement, sport type
and individual differences were considered to be
possible moderator variables. The results of these
analyses are given below and a summary is presented
in Table 6.
Measurement
Two measurement questions were addressed: (1) Did
the study employ an intra-individual or an inter-
individual design? (2) Was cognitive anxiety (or self-
confidence) measured using the CSAI-2 or using
another measure?
Intra-individual versus inter-individual measurement. We
coded studies based on whether the cognitive anxiety,
self-confidence and performance measurements were
either inter-individual or intra-individual. In light of the
increased sensitivity of intra-individual measurements,
we hypothesized that such measurements would yield
stronger effect sizes than inter-individual measure-
ments. However, independent means t-tests reveal ed
no significant difference between inter-individual and
intra-individual measurements for either cognitive
anxiety effect sizes (t
41
= 0.51, P=0.31) or self-con-
fidence effect sizes (t
40
= 0.54, P=0.30).
CSAI-2 versus other measures. Despite the criticisms
that have been levelled at the Competitive State
Anxiety Inventory-2, it remains the questionnaire of
choice for most researchers interested in the relation-
ships between cognitive anxiety, self-confide nce and
sport performance. To test whether the use of the
CSAI-2 moderates the relationships between cogni-
tive anxiety and performance and between self-
confidence and performance, we categorized studies
into those that used the CSAI-2 and those that used
other measures of cognitive anxiety or self-confi-
dence. For self-confidence, an independent means t-
test revealed that the mean effect size for studies
employing the CSAI-2 was significantly smaller than
the mean effect size for studies employing other
measures of self-confidence (t
39
= 2.14, P 50.05).
For cognitive anxiety, an independent means t-test
revealed no significant difference between the effect
sizes for studies employing the CSAI-2 and studies
employing other measures of cognitive anxiety
(t
41
= 0.91, P = 0.37).
Sport type
We hypothesized that the cognitive anxiety and self-
confidence effect sizes would be higher for individual
sports than team sports. However, independent means
t-tests revealed no significant differences between
individual and team sports for either the cognitive
anxiety effect sizes (t
36
= 0.64, P=0.26) or the self-
confidence effect sizes (t
36
= 0.85, P=0.20).
Individual differences
Two individual-difference comparisons were made:
standard of competition (high- and low-standard
athletes) and sex (men and women).
Standard of competition. It should be noted that
although the skill of the athlete and the standard of
competition are likely to be highly related, strictly
speaking the high- versus low-standard distinction
reflects the competitive setting rather than the skill of
the athlete. Studies were classified as ‘high standard’
if the sample studied was competing at national or
international standard. Studies were classified as ‘low
standard’ if the sample was competing at a compe-
titive standard below national standard (e.g. state,
regional, etc.). In line with the hypotheses, an
independent means t-test revealed that the mean
cognitive anxiety effect size of high-standard athletes
was significantly larger than the mean effect size of
low-standard athletes (t
39
= 2.93, P 50.01). Also, an
independent means t-test revealed that the mean self-
confidence effect size for high-standard athletes was
significantly larger than that for low-standard athletes
(t
37
= 2.23, P 50.05).
Sex. The mean cognitive anxiety effect size for men was
significantly larger than the mean effect size for women
(t
24
= 2.84, P 50.005). Also, the self-confidence effect
sizes for men were significantly larger than those for
women (t
25
= 3.19, P 50.005).
The possible confound of the standard of the
competitive setting and sex is addressed in the discus-
sion.
Publication status
As the meta-analysis included research results from
published and unpublished sources, we included the
publication status as a possi ble moderator variable.
Although it is possible that peer-review journals are
more likely to accept manuscripts that report sig-
nificant findings, we did not expect the source of the
research to be a significant moderator variable for
either relationship. Independent means t-tests con-
firmed that there were no significant differences
between peer-review journal articles and theses for
either the cognitive anxiety effect sizes (t
34
= 1.29,
P=0.21) or the self-confidence effect sizes (t
34
= 0.50,
P=0.62).
451Cognitive anxiety and self-confidence meta-analysis
The relative impact of cognit ive anxiety and
self-confidence
If cognitive anxiety and self-con fidence lie at opposite
ends of the same continuum, then they should have a
correlation of approximately r = 71 and their effects on
performance should mirror each other. That is, the
strength of the relationship between self-confidence and
performance should be similar to the strength of the
relationship between cognitive anxiety and perfor-
mance, only in the opposite direction. If cognitive
anxiety and self-confidence affect sport performance
independently, the strength of their relationships with
performance will probably be different. Thus, a pai red
samples t-test was run between the cognitive anxiety
and self-confidence effect sizes to determine whether
cognitive anxiety and self-confidence were indepen-
dently related to performance. To make meaningful
comparisons between cognitive anxiety and self-con-
fidence, cognitive anxiety effect sizes were first trans-
formed using y = 7x.
The paired samples t-test (with all effect sizes
included) revealed a significant difference between
cognitive anxiety and self-confidence effect sizes
(t
37
= 2.22, P 50.05). Wh en non-significant effect sizes
(i.e. those effect sizes where r = 0 was assumed) were
removed, a significant difference between cognitive
anxiety and self-confidence effect sizes remained
(t
29
= 2.42, P 50.05).
To test the degree of co-dependence between the
cognitive anxiety and self-confidence effects, correla-
tion coefficients were calculated between the effect sizes
for cognitive anxiety and self-confidence from those
studies that reported both effect sizes. The correlation
between the effect sizes for cognitive anxiety and self-
confidence was not significant (r = 70.25, P = 0.13).
Equally, when the non-si gnificant effect sizes (i.e. those
effect sizes where r = 0 was assumed) were removed
from the analyses, the correlation was not significant
(r = 70.22, P = 0.25).
Discussion
The focus of this meta-analysis was on two relation-
ships: (1) the relationship between cognitive anxiety and
competitive sport performance and (2) the relationship
between self-confidence and competitive sport perfor-
mance. The mean effect size for cognitive anxiety was
r = 70.10; the mean effect size for self-confidence was
r = 0.24. Both of these mean effect sizes were signifi-
cant, thus supporting two of the fundamental predic-
tions of multidimensional anxiety theory (Martens et
al., 1990). Sex and competitive standard were signifi-
cant moderating variables for the relationship between
cognitive anxiety and performance. Sex, competitive
standard and measurement were significant moderating
variables for the relationship between self-confidence
and performance. The results also revealed that self-
confidence was significantly more strongly related to
sport performance than was cognitive anxiety.
Both sets of effect sizes (cognitive anxiety and self-
confidence) were heterogeneous. Sex and competitive
standard were identified as significant moderating
variables, with the mean effect sizes being significantly
higher for men and high-standard athletes for both
cognitive anxiety and self-confidence. Also, measure-
ment was identified as a moderating variable for self-
confidence with the CSAI-2 measurements revealing
significantly lower effect sizes than other measurements
of self-confidence. The differences in mean effect sizes
between the sexes suggest that pre-competitive cogni-
tive anxiety and self-confidence have a greater impact
on the performance of men than that of women.
However, apart from the thresholds argument pre-
sented in the Introduction, there does not appear to be
any obvious reason why this should be. Indeed,
although previous research has shown that, compared
with men, women report higher cognitive anxiety
(Martens et al., 1990; Russell et al., 1998), lower self-
confidence (Martens et al., 1990; Jones et al., 1991;
Krane and Williams, 1994) and less stability before
competing (Jones and Cale, 1989; Jones et al., 1991),
such findings do not explain why cognitive anxiety and
self-confidence should be more related to performance
for either sex. The idea of a threshold is not new, as it is
central to catastrophe models of anxiety and perfor-
mance (Hardy and Fazey, 1987; Hardy, 1996a), where
performance suffers a catastrophic drop abov e a
physiological arousal threshold. In light of the present
results, further research on cognitive anxiety and self-
confidence thresholds appears worthwhile.
The cognitive anxiety and self-confidence mean
effect sizes were greater for high-standard athletes than
lower-standard athletes. One possible reason for these
differences is that high-standard performance is typi-
cally associated with increased pressure. If an athlete is
not able to deal with such pressure, then the effect upon
performance is likely to be fairly dramatic. Another
possible reason for these differences is that high-
standard performance is typically associated with fewer
‘random effects’. That is, high-standard athletes typi-
cally operate within a more controlled personal
environment than their comparatively low-standard
counterparts. In other words, athletes competing at a
higher standard are more likely to ‘control the
controllables’ (Hardy et al., 1996). As such, it is
reasonable to expect that the effect of self-confidence
(and cognitive anxiety) upon performance will be
clearer with elite athletes. In the present meta-analysis,
452 Woodman and Hardy
truly high-standard (international) performers were
investigated in one study only. The other studies
comprising the ‘high-standard’ group used national
standard athletes. This lack of studies involving truly
elite athletes poses a fairly serious problem in terms of
generalization of research findings to elite perform ers.
For example, the stress that elite athletes endure may be
rather different to that endured by relatively low-
standard athletes. Certainly, recent research (Wood-
man and Hardy, 1998, 2001b; Gould et al ., 1999) has
suggested that elite performers may be exposed to
various kinds of relational and organizational stress
before and during major international competitions.
Thus, generalizations of findings with lower-s tandard
sport performers to elite performers might be inap-
propriate (cf. Hardy et al., 1996; Balague, 1999).
Further research with truly high-standard performers
is needed to enhance our understanding of the effects of
stress, anxiety and self-confidence in an elite sport
environment.
Research investi gating female athletes in high-st an-
dard environments would be particularly helpful, as
most studies of high-standard athletes in this meta-
analysis were of men. More specifically, of the 12
studies conducted with high-standard athletes, seven
were with men and only one was with women (the
remaining fou r were with both men and women). Thus,
notwithstanding the threshold arguments presented
earlier, the most parsimonious explanation of sex as a
moderator variable is that it was confounded by the
standard of competition. Further research investigating
high-standard women athletes should help to clarify this
issue.
The vast majority of studies included in this meta-
analysis used the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-
2 (Martens et al., 1990) as a measure of cognitive
anxiety and self-confidence. The moderator analyses
revealed the CSAI-2 to be a significant moderator of the
self-confidence–performance relationship, with the ef-
fect size being smaller for the CSAI-2 (r = 0.19) than for
the other measures of self-confidence (r = 0.38). This is
consistent with the results from a recent meta-analysis
of the self-efficacy–sport performance relationship
(Moritz et al., 2000), which revealed that task-specific
measures of self-efficacy correlated significantly more
strongly with performance (r = 0.38) than other meth-
ods of assessment such as the CSAI-2 (r = 0.24).
Certainly, studies that match the task with more specific
measures of self-confidence appear more likely to reveal
stronger effect sizes. The near sine qua non status that
the CSAI-2 seemingly holds for researchers interested
in pre-competition sport affect could be problematic for
at least two other reasons. First, a recent confirmatory
factor analysis (Lane et al., 1999) found the CSAI-2 to
have weak structural validity. However, as this factor
analysis tested only the structure of the three-factor
model (cognitive anxiety, somatic anxiety and self-
confidence) and not the structure of each factor
separately, it offers no direct evidence about the relative
structural integrity of the cognitive anxiety and self-
confidence subscales. Second, eight of the nine
cognitive anxiety items in the CSAI-2 use ‘concern’ as
an expression of cognitive anxiety (e.g. ‘I’m concerned
about reaching my goal’), and it has been argued that
the expression ‘I am concerned’ can be interpreted
positively or negatively (Barnes et al., 1986; Jones,
1991; Jones and Swain, 1992; Burton and Naylor,
1997; Woodman and Hardy, 2001a). These differences
in interpretation led Jones and his colleagues (Jones,
1991; Jones and Swain, 1992) to add an interpretation
scale to the CSAI-2, which measures the extent to
which performers interpret their anxiety symptoms as
either facilitative or debilitative. Research using this
modified scale suggests that interpretation may be an
important moderating variable in the relationship
between cognitive anxiety and performance. For
example, Jones et al . (1993) found that high- and low-
performance gymnasts did not differ in cognitive
anxiety intensity. However, the high- performance gym-
nasts reported their cognitive anxiety to be more
facilitative than the low-performance gymnasts. Similar
findings have been reported in other studies (e.g. Jones
et al., 1994; Swain and Jones, 1996; Perry and Williams,
1998). As the present analyses did not reveal the CSAI-
2 to be a significant moderator of the cognitive anxiety–
performance relationship, one cannot conclude that the
cognitive anxiety subscale of the CSAI-2 is problematic
in relation to other measures of cognitive anxiety.
However, too few studies employed other measures of
cognitive anxiety to make comparisons between the
CSAI-2 and any other single measure of cognitive
anxiety. If researc hers develop another measure of
cognitive anxiety, then one will be able to measure its
predictive validity in comparison to that of the CSAI-2.
This is a worthwhile avenue for future research.
The difference in magnitude between the cognitive
anxiety and self-confidence mean effect sizes is con-
sistent with past research (e.g. Gould et al., 1984; Jones
and Cale, 1989; Jones et al., 1990, 1991; Martens et al.,
1990; Hardy, 1996b) that has suggested that cognitive
anxiety and self-confidence are orthogonal constructs,
which do not lie at opposite ends of the same
continuum. T hus, future researchers would do well to
consider cogni tive anxiety and self-confidence either
independently or as an interactive dyad. It is the
interaction between cognitive anxiety and self-confi-
dence that is likely to yield the most fruitful findings
(Hardy, 1996b). Certainly, from an anecdotal perspec-
tive, it seems that many exceptionally fine performances
are achieved when athletes are both anx ious (‘I am so
453Cognitive anxiety and self-confidence meta-analysis
worried, this is the biggest competition of my life’) and
self-confident (‘I know I can do well, I have prepared so
well for this competition’). From a theoretical perspec-
tive, both processing efficiency theory (Eys enck and
Calvo, 1992; Smith et al., 2001) and higher-order
catastrophe models (Hardy, 1996b) would support this
view. More precisely, processing efficiency theory
predicts that cognitively anxious individuals will invest
more effort in the task at hand provided they perceive
themselves to have a reasonable chance of success.
Also, within a higher-order catastrophe model frame-
work, Hardy (1990, 1996b) has proposed that high self-
confidence might protect cognitively anxious perfor-
mers from catastrophic drops in performance. Thus,
both processing efficiency theory and catastrophe
models are worthy of further research with respect to
investigating interactions between cognitive anxiety and
self-confidence.
In conclusion, this meta-a nalysis has revealed that
both cognitive anxiety and self-confidence are signifi-
cantly related to competitive sport performance. The
mean effect sizes for cognitive anxiety and self-
confidence were significantly higher for men than for
women. They were also higher for high-standard
athletes than for low-standard athletes. Furthermore,
compared with other measures of self-confidence, the
CSAI-2 revealed a significantly smaller mean self-
confidence effect size. In view of the significant
difference in magnitude between the two mean effect
sizes, researchers should view cognitive anxiety and self-
confidence as distinct constructs, rather than two
extremes of a single construct. Finally, the interaction
between cognitive anxiety and self-confidence is likely
to be a fruitful avenue for future research, and the
current theoretical paradigms that are the m ost amen-
able to investigation of this intera ction are processing
efficiency theory and higher-order catastrophe models.
Acknowledgements
The authors would like to thank three anonymous reviewers
and David Markland for their helpful comments on earlier
drafts of the manuscript.
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457Cognitive anxiety and self-confidence meta-analysis
... Several studies have reported significant benefits of self-confidence for athletes [3][4][5][6], whereas other investigations have shown no benefit [7][8][9][10]. The most recent quantitative summaries of the self-confidence in sport literature were published nearly 20 years ago in the form of two meta-analyses [11,12]. Since then, many studies are new to the literature, suggesting that an updated meta-analysis is timely. ...
... Self-confidence has intuitive appeal as a contributor to successful sport performance and therefore sport psychology researchers [11,12] have frequently investigated the confidence-performance relationship. Several related but distinct terms have been used in this area of the literature, including self-confidence, self-efficacy, sport confidence, or simply, confidence. ...
... Previous efforts to summarize the evidence base for the benefits of self-confidence on athletic performance have included two published meta-analyses [11,12]. Woodman and Hardy [12] summarized 47 studies in their meta-analysis, 40 of which (85.1%) had used the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2) [15] to assess self-confidence. ...
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Self-confidence is a common research topic, and most applied textbooks include interventions designed to enhance athlete confidence. Our purpose was to quantify the self-confidence and sport performance literature using meta-analytic techniques. We also examined potential risk of bias indicators, and the moderation effects of study quality, sport characteristics, timing of confidence measurement, and individual differences among participants. Following a review of two past meta-analyses, a systematic search of APA PsycArticles, ERIC, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, PsychINFO, and SPORTDiscus within the EBSCOhost platform, and some hand searching, 41 articles published between 1986 and 2020 met the inclusion criteria. Collectively, the included studies investigated 3711 athletes from 15 countries across 24 sports. The overall random effects estimate of the relationship (expressed as r) between self-confidence and performance was 0.25 (95% CI 0.19, 0.30), with little evidence of publication bias. The summed total risk of the individual study bias score did not moderate the confidence–performance relationship, whereas significant moderator effects emerged for individual sports (0.29) compared with team sports (0.14), objective (0.29) compared to subjective (0.14) performance measures, and 100% male (0.35) compared to 100% female (0.07) samples. In conclusion, the confidence–performance relationship is small in magnitude, nearly free of bias, and moderated by sport type, performance objectivity, and athlete sex.
... Furthermore, newer studies report that cognitive anxiety is higher in team sports (Gimenes Fernandes et al., 2013;Parnabas et al., 2014). Finally, in a metaanalysis, Woodman and Hardy (2003) found that the effect cognitive anxiety and self-confidence achieve on performance does not differ between team and individual sports. ...
... Our results are not in line with the initial theoretical expectations that competitive anxiety should be higher in individual sport athletes (Martens et al., 1990). Although conflicting evidence about the direction of the relationship between sport type and competitive anxiety exists in the literature, previous studies have found that individual and group athletes differ based on their reported anxiety levels before the start of a competitive event (Gimenes Fernandes et al., 2013;Martens et al., 1990;Parnabas et al., 2014;Soltani et al., 2016;Terry et al., 1996;Woodman & Hardy, 2003). However, our results can be interpreted by understanding the characteristics of the participants in our study. ...
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Previous studies suggest conflicting evidence regarding differences in competitive anxiety between athletes participating in individual and team sports. One possibility for these unclear findings is that previous work did not consider the specificity of youth-level sport. We aimed to compare the levels of competitive anxiety on a sample of 28 swimmers (Mage = 14.75, SDage = 1.32) and 32 basketball players (Mage = 16.94, SDage = .91) competing at youth-level in their respective sports. All participants completed the Competetive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2) 30 minutes before the start of their competitive events. No group differences were found between team and individual sport athletes in the Cognitive and Somatic Anxiety subscales, as well as the Self-confidence subscale. Furthermore, age was not a significant moderator in the relationship between sport type and all three CSAI-2 subscales. Our results indicate that different experiences present in the later development of athletes competing in individual and team sports might contribute to varying levels of competitive anxiety at the senior level.
... In line with our assumption on the relevance of stress and previous esports research, external factors most frequently related to schedule issues, an unprofessional environment, and external pressure (e.g., audience), while internal factors most frequently related to self-confidence, attention, stress and coping (e.g., anxiety and emotional regulation), and an unhealthy lifestyle (e.g., poor sleep habits; Leis et al., in press, Smith et al., 2019). Similarly, empirical studies from traditional sport have shown that performance is positively impacted by group cohesion (see meta-analysis by Carron et al., 2002), effective emotional regulation (e.g., Wagstaff, 2014), selfconfidence (see meta-analysis by Woodman & Hardy, 2003), and sleep (see review by Fullagar et al., 2015). However, addressing aspects such as an unhealthy lifestyle, coping strategies, and schedule issues seems to be of significant importance in esports due to shortand long-term effects associated with prolonged game play including lower levels of general and mental health (e.g., Credeur et al., 2019;. ...
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Driven by the need to inform evidence-based intervention strategies for performance and health promotion in esports, this thesis aimed to provide a starting point for future research on esports and, in particular, psychophysiological stress in esports. To this end, this work began by addressing why and how sport and exercise psychology could research esports. Following this, a systematic review of the literature on stress in non-competitive and competitive esports was performed. The results indicated that playing esports in competitive settings–in contrast to non-competitive settings–seems to be related to psychophysiological stress responses, and also highlighted a number of theoretical and methodological limitations with research in this area. To build on this initial understanding of stress in esports, a qualitative study was conducted that explored the subjective experiences of professional players. Here, a variety of stressors, perceived stress responses, and coping strategies were identified. To complete the work, a different perspective and approach was taken, using an online questionnaire to investigate perceived performance factors and stress management strategies utilized by sport psychologists and performance coaches in esports. Overall, this work provided a number of implications for future research and applied practice that are addressed in this thesis.
... Sehingga dengan adanya kepercayaan diri, gejala kecemasan yang timbul dapat dikurangi khususnya pada gejala kognitif. Hal tersebut sesuai dengan hasil penelitian sebelumnya yang menunjukkan adanya hubungan negatif yang sangat signifikan antara kecemasan kognitif dengan kepercayaan diri pada performa olahraga (Woodman & Hardy, 2003). ...
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Kecemasan yang dialami mahasiswa tingkat akhir sebagian berada pada kategori berat hingga sangat berat. Kecemasan tersebut akan menimbulkan gejala fisik maupun gejala kognitif yang mempengaruhi performa pada mahasiswa tingkat akhir. Self awareness membuat seseorang menyadari perasaan cemas yang dimiliki dan menentukan langkah yang diambil kedepannya. Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk mengetahui peran self awareness terhadap kecemasan mahasiswa yang berada pada tingkat akhir. Subjek penelitian dilakukan pada 49 mahasiswa aktif tingkat akhir di salah satu perguruan tinggi. Penelitian ini menggunakan desain penelitian berupa korelasional. Alat ukur yang digunakan pada penelitian ini berupa skala skala self awareness yang disusun dari penelitian yang dilakukan oleh Nugraheni (2015) dan skala kecemasan dari skala Depression Anxiety Stres Scale (DASS), yang disusun oleh Lovibond dan Lovibond (1995) dan telah diterjemahkan oleh Damanik (2006). Hasil penelitian menunjukkan bahwa self awareness diketahui memiliki korelasi negatif yang signifikan terhadap kecemasan mahasiswa tingkat akhir (p < 0.05). Self awareness memiliki sumbangan sebesar 10,1% terhadap kecemasan pada mahasiswa tingkat akhir. Berdasarkan analisis tambahan dalam penelitian ini, ditemukan bahwa dimensi self awareness yang berkorelasi negatif secara signifikan dengan kecemasan adalah dimensi self confidence. Dengan adanya hasil penelitian ini, maka diharapkan dapat menjadi referensi keilmuan terkait solusi atas permasalahan kecemasan pada mahasiswa tingkat akhir.
... Thus, the real challenge is to be able to transfer skills such that they are robust under pressure. Researchers, particularly from the field of sport psychology, have dedicated a lot of time and effort to understanding the anxiety and performance relationship ( Eysenck & Calvo, 1992 ;Eysenck & Wilson, 2016 ;Hanin, 2010 ;Masters & Malhotra, 2014 ;Masters & Maxwell, 2008 ;Woodman and Hardy, 2003 ). A large proportion of this research has examined sudden unexpected drops in performance that are colloquially described as 'choking under pressure'. ...
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Skill acquisition research has great potential to inform coaching practices and can impact skill development, especially at the youth developmental stage. However, it is not always easy for coaches to envision how research findings can be applied on the ground. The Skill Acquisition Framework for youth sport in Singapore is aimed at providing an easy to understand evidence-based resource for coaches on the topic of skill acquisition. The framework consists of 3 dimensions (i.e., Desirable characteristics of youth athletes, Key Concepts and Key Design Principles). Each of these dimensions will enable coaches to reflect on their current practices and facilitate discussions in a systematic manner. The first dimension provides coaches with the opportunity to think about the most important characteristics that they want to develop in youth athletes (motivated, adaptable, robust under pressure). The second dimension of the framework introduces Key Concepts related to skill acquisition that are crucial for coaches to consider when working with athletes. Finally, the third dimension presents the Key Design Principles that can underpin the design of training sessions.
... Research on competitive state anxiety is based on the premise that cognitive anxiety has a negative linear relationship with performance and that confidence has a linear positive relationship with performance and is considered to be a protective factor against cognitive anxiety (Weinberg and Gould, 2014). When facing stress, athletes with higher confidence are better able to interpret anxiety as a positive emotion and promote sport performance (Martens et al., 1990;Woodman and Hardy, 2003;Hays et al., 2009). Similarly, confidence has a significant effect on sport performance in archery (Zhao et al., 2013;Bebetsos, 2015), even though it affects performance to the greatest extent on different factors among skills and mental and physical fitness (Yang et al., 2008;. ...
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Through empirical studies or laboratory tests, previous studies have shown that sport-confidence, attention, and emotion regulation are key factors in archery performance. The present study aims to further identify the effects and pathways of sport-confidence, attention, and cognitive reappraisal (a specific emotion regulation strategy) on real-world archery performance by constructing a hypothesized model to provide a basis for scientific training of athletes to improve sport performance. A survey design was utilized on a sample of 61 athletes (12 international-level athletes, 30 national-level athletes, and 19 first-class athletes) from the Chinese National Archery Team to test the model. The measurement and hypothesized models were tested using partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM). The results indicate that the model fit well and explained 33.6% of the variance in archery performance. Sport-confidence (total effects = 0.574, p < 0.001) and attention (total effects = 0.344, p = 0.009) were important predictive indicators of archery performance, while the relationship between cognitive reappraisal and archery performance showed considerable complexity (direct effects = −0.268, p = 0.020; total effects = −0.007, p = 0.964). We conclude that the development of sport-confidence and attention of archery athletes should be strengthened, but athletes who use cognitive reappraisal in archery competition should be mindful of its potential appropriation of cognitive resources and should be directed to improve sport-confidence or develop a positive orientation to arouse excitement.
... No âmbito de treinamento esportivo, as pressões por resultados nas competições, ocorrem em um momento de transformações biopsicossociais importantes na vida do adolescente, no qual a base psicológica ainda não se encontra madura o suficiente, exigindo maiores cuidados quanto às cobranças de pais e treinadores, e quanto aos sentimentos de menor valorização pelo treinador comparados aos colegas de equipe 8 Dentre as principais variáveis psicológicas, a autoconfiança e a autoeficácia são apontadas como importantes preditoras do desempenho de atletas de sucesso [10][11][12] ...
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Resumo: O presente estudo teve objetivo de verificar os fatores sociais e comportamentais associados com o desempenho na competição d e atletas adolescentes de Atletismo de Santa Catarina. Participaram deste estudo 74 atletas adolescentes de 15 a 19 anos com me diana de idade de 17,0 (16,0-18,0) anos. Os participantes responderam questões sociodemográficas (sexo, idade e classe social), questões sobre a frequênci a e duração das sessões de treinamento, experiência no esporte, experiência na competição, incentivo finan ceiro (Bolsa-Atleta) e status social subjetivo na equipe. Além disso, desempenho na competição foi obtido a partir da consulta de registros dos resultados oficiai s da principal competição esportiva para adolescentes do Estado de Santa Catarina. O teste de correlação de Spearman foi utilizado para verificar correlação entre as variáveis. Para comparação entre os grupos foi utilizado o teste U de Mann Whitney. Verificou-se que os medalhistas eram os atletas que apresentaram maior experiência no esporte (p=0,0 33) e na competição (p=0,011) e maior duração das sessões de treinamento (p=0,002), comparados aos não medalhistas da competição. Além disso, foram observadas correlações significativas entre o desempenho e as variáveis de experiência no esporte (rho =-0,298; p = 0,011), status social subjetivo na equipe (rho =-0,316; p = 0,006), experiência na competição (rho =-0,377; p = 0,001) e média da duração dos treinos (rho =-0,316; p = 0,006). Por último, observaram-se melhores desempenhos os atletas que receberam Bolsa-Atleta comparados aos atletas que não receberam o benefício (p<0,001). Conclui-se que além das variáveis de treinamento no Atletismo apresentarem grande relevância para o resultado na competição, o status social e políticas públicas de incentivo ao esporte também apresentam parcela de contribuição para o sucesso no resultado da competição. Palavras-chave: desempenho atlético, apoio social, adolescente, atletas. Afiliação
... Jones et al. (1993) also found that self-confidence has a positive effect on athletic performance. Bandura (1997) and Woodman and Hardy (2003) highlighted self-confidence as the best predictor of athletic performance. ...
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Full-text available
Running marathons is an increasingly popular activity with an ever-increasing number of events and participants. Many participants declare that they pursue a variety of goals by running, namely, the maintenance of good health, the development of strength and improvement of fitness, the management of emotions, and the achievement of resilience and psychological wellbeing (PWB). The research has examined marathon running, like many other sports, and has studied various factors that reduce athletic performance, such as the experience of anxiety, and that enhance such performance, such as an increase in general wellbeing. This article reports the results of a study on the experience of competitive anxiety among 238 male marathon runners who participated in Seville's (Spain) 26th Marathon race on February 23, 2020, and investigates the relationship between anxiety and key dimensions of wellbeing as measured by the Spanish-adapted 20-item PWB Scale. We hypothesized that participating athletes who rated high on the dimensions of PWB would experience lower levels of competitive anxiety with respect to this race. We also proposed that PWB would function as a mediating factor with respect to the experience of anxiety. The results show, as hypothesized, that marathon running enhances wellbeing and reduces anxiety. The data showed significant negative correlations between four of five wellbeing dimensions and the three types of anxiety measured, namely, somatic anxiety, worry, and concentration-impairing anxiety. Other findings supported our hypothesis that wellbeing, as measured, functions as a mediating factor for the moderation of competitive anxiety. Generalization of these findings is limited by the fact that the low number of female participants recruited did not permit valid statistical analyses in this respect. It is known that both anxiety and wellbeing are subjects to variation by gender. The future inclusion of male and female subjects in equivalent studies will undoubtedly add valuable information concerning the dynamics of anxiety and wellbeing. The implications of these findings and the limitations of the study will be discussed.
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Pre-competition anxiety is very prevalent in novice athletes, causing stress and drastic decreases in their performances. Cortisol plays a central role in the psychosomatic responses to stress and also in the physiology of strenuous exercise. Growing evidence links uric acid, an endogenous antioxidant, with oxidative stress and anxiety, as observed in many depressive-related disorders. We here compared anxiety inventory scores (BAI and CSAI-2), cortisol and biomarkers of oxidative stress in the plasma of novice combat athletes (white and blue belts) before and after their first official national competition, when levels of stress are presumably high. Although the novice fighters did not reveal high indexes of anxiety on questionnaires, significant correlations were confirmed between cortisol and cognitive anxiety (Pearson’s r = 0.766, p-value = 0.002, and a ‘strong’ Bayesian inference; BF10 = 22.17) and between pre-post changes of plasmatic uric acid and somatic anxiety (r = 0.804, p < 0.001, and ‘very strong’ inference; BF10 = 46.52). To our knowledge, this is the first study to report such strong correlations between uric acid and pre-competition anxiety in novice combat athletes. The cause-consequence association between these indexes cannot be directly inferred here, although the interplay between uric acid and anxiety deserves further investigation.
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This investigation had three primary purposes: (a) investigating whether anxiety has a major debilitating effect on the performance of endurance athletes, (b) assessing whether age or sport-type differences were evident in the precompetitive state anxiety patterns of triathletes and two of their singlesport counterparts, and (c) testing the anxiety–performance hypothesis for endurance athletes using an intraindividual measure of performance. Subjects were 293 endurance athletes recruited from races in the Pacific Northwest. Results revealed that precompetitive anxiety did not impair the performance of endurance athletes. Triathletes were significantly more cognitively and somatically anxious than either runners or cyclists, and older endurance athletes were found to experience significantly less cognitive anxiety than did their younger counterparts. Results did not support the anxiety–performance hypothesis, although a significant negative correlation was found between negative thoughts during the race and performance.
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The purpose of this study was to examine the intensity of competitive trait anxiety and self-confidence and interpret whether these symptoms facilitated or debilitated performance in three distinct skill-level groups in tennis for both males and females. Advanced (n = 50), intermediate (n = 96), and novice (n = 79) tennis players completed a modified Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2. The three groups did not differ for somatic anxiety intensity, but the novice group reported less cognitive anxiety intensity and the advanced group higher self-confidence levels. Only advanced players reported more facilitative interpretations versus the hypothesized progressive increase across skill level. Males and females did not differ on self-confidence and anxiety intensity, but males reported a more facilitative interpretation of anxiety. Analyses of subjects who reported debilitating effects for cognitive and somatic anxiety revealed higher intensities on both anxiety subscales and lower self-confidence levels. The discussion addresses implications for the practitioner.
Article
Four stress coping styles in intercollegiate golfers (N = 112) were differentiated based on low and high combinations of repressive defensiveness (scores on the Marlowe-Crowne Social Desirability Scale) and competitive trait anxiety (scores on the Sport Competition Anxiety Test). The results indicated biased responding on the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2 (CSAI-2) occurs only for repressors (high Marlowe-Crowne, low competitive trait anxiety). Repressors reported higher self-confidence and similar state anxiety as that reported by truly low anxious subjects (low Marlowe-Crowne, low competitive trait anxiety). High social desirability responders who were considered defensive high-anxious (high Marlowe-Crowne, high competitive trait anxiety) did not deny disturbing pre-competition cognitions. When predicting tournament performance with the CSAI-2 subscales, over twice as much variance was accounted for with repressors (assumed to have distorted responses) deleted compared to when all golfers were included. There was no evidence that a repressive coping style deters performance. Future researchers and practitioners need to examine whether or not athletes classified as repressors present themselves favorably when responding to anxiety and confidence questions. They also need to determine if a repressive coping style is effective or maladaptive in dealing with performance demands.