Self-confidence and performance: A little self-doubt helps.

Journal article


Woodman, Tim, Akehurst, Sally, Hardy, Lew and Beattie, Stuart 2010. Self-confidence and performance: A little self-doubt helps. Psychology of Sport and Exercise. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2010.05.009
AuthorsWoodman, Tim, Akehurst, Sally, Hardy, Lew and Beattie, Stuart
Abstract

Objectives: To test the hypothesis that a decrease in confidence on a well-learned task will increase effort and performance. Design: A 2 (group: control, experimental) 2 (trial: practice, competition) mixed-model with repeated measures on the second factor. Method: Expert skippers’ (n ¼ 28) self-confidence was reduced via a combination of task (i.e., change of rope) and competitive demands. Performance was the number of skips in a 1-min period. On-task effort was measured via the verbal reaction time to an auditory probe. Results: The group trial interaction (F (1, 26) ¼ 6.73, p < .05, h2 ¼ .21) supported the hypothesis: Posthoc tests revealed a significant decrease in self-confidence and a significant improvement in performance from practice to competition for the experimental group only. No significant effort effects were revealed. Conclusions: Some self-doubt can benefit performance, which calls into question the widely accepted positive linear relationship between self-confidence and performance. As effort did not increase with decreased confidence, the precise mechanisms via which self-confidence will lead to an increase or a decrease in performance remain to be elucidated.

Objectives: To test the hypothesis that a decrease in confidence on a well-learned task will increase effort
and performance.
Design: A 2 (group: control, experimental) 2 (trial: practice, competition) mixed-model with repeated
measures on the second factor.
Method: Expert skippers’ (n ¼ 28) self-confidence was reduced via a combination of task (i.e., change of
rope) and competitive demands. Performance was the number of skips in a 1-min period. On-task effort
was measured via the verbal reaction time to an auditory probe.
Results: The group trial interaction (F (1, 26) ¼ 6.73, p < .05, h2 ¼ .21) supported the hypothesis: Posthoc
tests revealed a significant decrease in self-confidence and a significant improvement in performance
from practice to competition for the experimental group only. No significant effort effects were
revealed.
Conclusions: Some self-doubt can benefit performance, which calls into question the widely accepted
positive linear relationship between self-confidence and performance. As effort did not increase with
decreased confidence, the precise mechanisms via which self-confidence will lead to an increase or
a decrease in performance remain to be elucidated.

KeywordsConfidence; Self-doubt
Year2010
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
PublisherElsevier
ISSN14690292
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2010.05.009
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/622283
hdl:10545/622283
Publication dates04 Jun 2010
Publication process dates
Deposited13 Mar 2018, 10:19
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Archived with thanks to Psychology of Sport and Exercise

ContributorsAberystwyth University and Bangor University
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