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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Psychology Help! - November 15th 2014, 12:56 PM

Hi everyone.

Some of you will know that I am, somewhat grudgingly, studying Sports and Exercise Psychology this year. Today I was looking at the "Four Stages of Stress" designed by some guy called McGrath and I'm really struggling to apply it to real situations.
So, purely to help me understand it a little better, can you guys answer these questions for me so I can see these stages in real life situations?
Basically you need to think of a time when you had to do something. It can be perform at a sporting event, public speaking, any kind of performance, or really anything that made you nervous. Think about it and answer these questions as best you can. I'll just refer to whatever you choose as "the event" or "the task" for the sake of simplicity.

This will not be used in any publication or for any research or data collection purposes. The sole purpose is to help me understand it better by applying it to real people.

1. Did you feel any kind of demand before the event? e.g. the need to win, to get it right, to succeed, etc.

2. Was this a big demand for you?

3. Did you feel any kind of threat? ("If I don't win then..... [something bad]")

4. How did your body/mind react? Butterflies, feeling sick, lack of sleep, nightmares, decreased appetite, etc.

5. How did you prepare yourself and cope with the stress?

6. What was the outcome of the event?

7. How did you feel at the end? Was there anything you would have changed or done differently to prepare yourself?



Thank you all! This assignment is going to be the death of me if I don't understand the basics.


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Re: Psychology Help! - November 15th 2014, 04:27 PM

I'm going to apply this to my first college exam.

1. I felt like I really needed to succeed/pass the exam.
2. This was huge. I hadn't taken a proper exam in forever due to being home schooled towards the end of high school.
3. I felt like if I didn't pass, then I would end up failing out of college. Seemed realistic to believe at the time, but really is not.
4. I couldn't sleep or eat properly for about a week before the exam. Then I was really restless and sweaty the day of the exam.
5. I had to talk myself through when I studied and when I actually took the exam. Had to explain to myself that I knew the material, I studied, and I would be fine. Plus, Xanax is the bomb at calming me down.
6. I passed with a 98% and I think I did one thing wrong on the entire exam.
7. I think I should have just not worried about it because logically I know I almost always do well on exams, but my anxiety got the best of me. I just wish I would have rolled with it instead of getting bent out of shape about it.

I hope this helps!


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Re: Psychology Help! - November 15th 2014, 06:08 PM

I'm going to be nerdy and choose my last Magic, The Gathering Tournament.

1. Did you feel any kind of demand before the event? e.g. the need to win, to get it right, to succeed, etc.

I felt a pretty strong need to place. That means, Top eight or better, so basically, I needed to win at least three out of four games.

2. Was this a big demand for you?

A little. My deck had been failing recently, and I wasn't sure how well it stacked up against the format.

3. Did you feel any kind of threat? ("If I don't win then..... [something bad]")

Well, I'd have wasted money on my super expensive deck. And it would be stressful because I've been on a losing streak.

4. How did your body/mind react? Butterflies, feeling sick, lack of sleep, nightmares, decreased appetite, etc.

My body didn't really react. I just played the games calmly.

5. How did you prepare yourself and cope with the stress?

I didn't even know I was going until a little before the event. I just told myself I'd have fun and play my deck.

6. What was the outcome of the event?

I failed miserably I got one win throughout the entire damn thing.

7. How did you feel at the end? Was there anything you would have changed or done differently to prepare yourself?

I probably would have examined my matchups a bit better and tried to tweak my deck for the metagame. I felt really disappointed.


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Re: Psychology Help! - November 15th 2014, 09:16 PM

I'm going to use my last job interview for this.

1. I felt a lot of demand before the interview because of how important it was for me to get a job.

2. It was a huge demand for me because of how much I had been struggling financially. It was basically the deciding factor between me having groceries in the house or having to figure out another way to eat.

3. I did feel a bit of a threat because of how time-sensitive my need for a job was.

4. My body reacted fine, but my mind was all over the place. It was full of a lot of anxiety and stress.

5. There wasn't really much I could do to prepare myself. I just kept thinking through the things that I could say to make it clear that I was the best person for the position.

6. I did get the job.

7. I felt really relieved at the end. Since it went the way I was hoping for, there's not a whole lot that I would change.


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Re: Psychology Help! - November 15th 2014, 09:37 PM

This is based on my feelings at a debate competition my Junior year of high school. I have a good memory, so it's accurate.


Quote:
1. Did you feel any kind of demand before the event? e.g. the need to win, to get it right, to succeed, etc.
Yes. I wanted to win. What's the point of doing anything, unless you want to win?

Quote:
2. Was this a big demand for you?
If by 'big demand' you mean 'did I really, really want to win,' then yeah. But if I'd have lost, I'd have just went with it, and tried to improve based upon an objective analysis of my failings the last time.


Quote:
3. Did you feel any kind of threat? ("If I don't win then..... [something bad]")
Nope.

Quote:
4. How did your body/mind react? Butterflies, feeling sick, lack of sleep, nightmares, decreased appetite, etc.
Decreased appetite, for sure. I ate nothing the entire morning before the debate (and the debate was in the afternoon). I twiddled my fingers a lot, I took my heels on and off... Basically, I fidgeted. I was lightheaded, too, but I think that was mostly because I didn't eat at all until after the debate was over.

Quote:
5. How did you prepare yourself and cope with the stress?
I drank Monster, spoke little (though I didn't really speak to anyone, anyway), sat by myself, and studied like hell. In my mind, the best way to ensure a good outcome is to prepare. If I've done my best to ensure a good outcome, then there's no reason to be stressed.

Quote:
6. What was the outcome of the event?
I basically carried my entire unit. I read well, I held my ground, and I argued against my opponent with every last bit of information I was sure of. When we finished, someone told me she felt like jumping across her desk and cheering for me. People surrounded me on all sides, hugging me and that sort of thing. It was the first time I'd really felt like people noticed me at all.

Quote:
7. How did you feel at the end? Was there anything you would have changed or done differently to prepare yourself?
I felt great. My team's score was nearly perfect. There's nothing I could have done differently.
   
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Re: Psychology Help! - November 15th 2014, 09:59 PM

Based on me interviewing teachers for my dissertation research:

Quote:
1. Did you feel any kind of demand before the event? e.g. the need to win, to get it right, to succeed, etc.
Yes, I did. I felt there was a demand for me to get it right- I needed to be clear with my questions, make notes and listen to the teachers, as this would affect my research. I couldn’t get many teachers for the interview so I had to make sure it would go well.

Quote:
2. Was this a big demand for you?
A very big demand. My research was for my dissertation. Without the research, I risked not only failing the module, but my entire degree.

Quote:
3. Did you feel any kind of threat? ("If I don't win then..... [something bad]")
The main threat to me, was that if I rushed through my questions and not gather enough information, I would do bad in my dissertation.

Quote:
4. How did your body/mind react? Butterflies, feeling sick, lack of sleep, nightmares, decreased appetite, etc.
I did feel very nervous partly because of anxiety, but also because of the demand. I did feel sick, and slept less too.

Quote:
5. How did you prepare yourself and cope with the stress?
I prepared by writing out the questions, showing them to my tutor, and practising them on friends. I did some breathing exercises and tried to get a good night’s sleep, and listened to music a lot, as that helps me with stress.

Quote:
6. What was the outcome of the event?
The outcome of the event was that I interviewed teachers, rather confidently, and got all the information I needed.

Quote:
7. How did you feel at the end? Was there anything you would have changed or done differently to prepare yourself?
I felt really great at the end! I wouldn’t really have changed anything, apart from made more of an effort to find other teachers to take part, which would’ve lessened the demand a bit.


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Re: Psychology Help! - November 16th 2014, 12:58 AM

I am going to use the state cultural competition (in my last year of school) where I was head of our group.

(1) I felt I really needed to win, because it meant a lot to all the schools in my city.

(2) A very big demand. This would make or break my reputation in school.

(3) Well yes, I was pretty sure I would become the source of all jokes and be bullied in my school. (Because even if the whole group loses, the head of the group is at blame)

(4) Decreased appetite, for sure. I also had butterflies in my stomach from a few hours before the actual performance.

(5) There wasn't really much I could do. Since our group had been practicing it for a long time, I just tried to keep myself positive.

(6) We won one event and came third in another. I won the best performer.

(7) I felt really great at the end. I wouldn't want to change much, just maybe got my group to concentrate on the second event more and get them to do better in that as well. But since our teachers were happy with the outcome I guess I learnt to accept the third place as well.



I hope this helps. All the best with your assignment.


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Re: Psychology Help! - November 16th 2014, 01:52 AM

Quote:
1. Did you feel any kind of demand before the event? e.g. the need to win, to get it right, to succeed, etc.
I did not feel the need to win or get anything right. I just felt the need to do my best

Quote:
2. Was this a big demand for you?
No it was not

Quote:
3. Did you feel any kind of threat? ("If I don't win then..... [something bad]")
No I did not.

Quote:
4. How did your body/mind react? Butterflies, feeling sick, lack of sleep, nightmares, decreased appetite, etc.
Butterflies because I was doing a new dive and I didn't know if I'd be able to or not

Quote:
5. How did you prepare yourself and cope with the stress?
I didn't have any stress. I prepared by eating a god breakfast before and staying hydrated

Quote:
6. What was the outcome of the event?
I got third place

Quote:
7. How did you feel at the end? Was there anything you would have changed or done differently to prepare yourself?
Nope I knew I was going to get third but that's okay.


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Re: Psychology Help! - November 16th 2014, 04:16 AM

I will use my valedictorian speech.

1. I did feel the need to get it right, since I was representing my class and everyone was watching. My class, their family, teachers.

2. It was!

3. I felt as if people would only remember the mistakes etc, so I said that if I do poorly on the speech everyone will laugh at me and I'd embarrass myself.

4. Felt my heart beating, butterflies, etc.

5. I practiced a lot.

6. I did the speech fairly well. I messed up a little because two pages were out of order but people still said I did good.

7. How did you feel at the end? Was there anything you would have changed or done differently to prepare yourself?


   
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Re: Psychology Help! - November 16th 2014, 12:58 PM

It makes so much more sense! I can explain it now.
So basically this guy McGrath said that when you're doing something big or important, say competing in the Olympics, (or even just something average or everyday) there are four stages of stress during this.
  • So the first one is the "environmental demand" - you have to do something and it's big and it's scary. It can be in your mind (psychological) or right in front of you (physical). You could be the best runner in the world, but the pressure of competing could get to you mentally and screw you up. OR you could be fantastic at dealing with the mental stress but not in the best physical condition. It's a delicate balance.
  • That leads onto stage two which is the perception of this demand. How you see it. It could be just another day with something that needs done or it could be the most important thing you've ever faced.
  • Leading from that, stage three is "stress response" your reaction to this demand and how you see it. Some of you said you had butterflies, felt sick, or had trouble eating or sleeping.
  • On from that is stage four "behavioural consequences" which is how, as a result of this and how you cope with it, you finally perform. If you can't cope with the stress you're more likely to do worse, if you deal with it and can focus then you'll do better.

I get it! This can be applied to everything. Every single action in your life, whether it's conscious (making a speech) or unconscious (getting up in the morning) goes through these four stages. Most of the time we're not aware of it because it's second nature. Getting up in the morning, according to those stages would be

Alarm goes, time to get up (demand) ----> Urghh another day it's too early I don't want to! (perception) ----> Realising you're still tired (response) ----> Force yourself up and start your day, or hit snooze and stay in bed for another ten minutes. (behavioural consequences - how you react as a result of all this)

Woo hoo! Now I just need to apply it to a situation in my own life and... write... 1000 words on it...
If I post that part of the assignment here once I've written it will you tell me if it makes sense?

Thank you SO much everyone who replied. It makes so much more sense when you can have some real life situations, look at how people felt and responded, and apply the stages to it.


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