Trait and state anxiety before and after competitive performance

Percept Mot Skills. 1995 Dec;81(3 Pt 2):1059-74. doi: 10.2466/pms.1995.81.3f.1059.


33 subjects were tested on competitive trait and state anxiety immediately before and after a competitive motor task of short duration (average performance time of 25 seconds). It required precise coordination of correct muscular activity, timing as well as speed, and physical strength that included explosive shifts in direction of movement. Two types of performance measures were employed, (a) number of errors during the performance and (b) the time it took to complete the motor task. Analysis showed a positive relation between trait anxiety and performance errors when a linear model was applied; however, when a curvilinear model was used, a strong significant U-relationship between errors and precompetition state anxiety emerged. Further, a strong positive linear relation between poststate anxiety and number of performance errors was observed. The results indicate that making errors in performance situations is a critical factor in producing postcompetition state anxiety.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Competitive Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality*
  • Psychological Tests
  • Sports