Multidimensional anxiety theory (A 3 point guide)

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The current blogspot will be based on the question “what is multidimensional anxiety theory?”.

We will focus on the  impact of anxiety on the performance of individuals.

What is multidimensional anxiety theory?

The multidimensional anxiety theory was proposed by Martens et al., 1990 and the Catastrophe Model of the multidimensional anxiety theory was proposed by  Hardy & Fazey, 1987 . Both the multidimensional anxiety theory and the catastrophe model of multidimensional anxiety theory  are the two foremost theories that have explained state anxiety in view of its components.

The multidimensional anxiety theory suggests that an increase in the cognitive state anxiety has a negative effect on the individual’s performance. This theory refers to state anxiety on the basis of two major components that is why it is called multidimensional anxiety theory. 

The multidimensional anxiety theory suggests that the two main components of state anxiety are cognitive component and somatic component. According to the multidimensional anxiety theory The cognitive component and somatic component of state anxiety have different negative influences on the performance of the individual.

What are the key aspects of the multidimensional anxiety theory?

The key aspects of the multidimensional anxiety theory are as follows :

  • State anxiety
  • Cognitive state anxiety
  • Somatic state anxiety

State anxiety is marked in the multidimensional anxiety theory as an emotional state of an individual that is  marked with apprehension and tension in an individual.

The cognitive state anxiety multidimensional anxiety theory is related to thoughts that are based on self performance. These involve a fear of negative evaluation, criticism and low performance.

The somatic state anxiety in the multidimensional anxiety theory is related to the changes in the physiological arousal. The altered perception of physiological arousal is a key mark of the multidimensional state theory.

What does the multidimensional anxiety theory predict?

The multidimensional theory contradicted the previous views that tend to explain the relationship between performance and anxiety in the form of the inverted U. 

The inverted U relationship between anxiety and performance believed that the individual’s performance will be poor if there are lower levels of anxiety, with an optimal level of anxiety the performance of individual will be better but if the anxiety reaches to a higher point the performance of the individual will be negatively affected to a great degree.

In 1997 Randle and Wienberg criticised the inverted U relationship between a person’s anxiety and performance. Their criticism was based on the following points:

  • A lack of theoretical explanation to support the inverted u relationship between anxiety and performance
  • A failure to exactly measure the arousal points along the continuum of anxiety and performance
  • No explanation for the multidimensional state of anxiety
  • No methods or statistical explanation to favor the inverted u relationship between anxiety and performance

The criticism of the inverted U relationship between anxiety and performance led to the basis of multidimensional anxiety theory. The multidimensional anxiety theory was based on :

  • Somatic and cognitive components as two different parts of anxiety
  • The somatic and cognitive components of anxiety can be manipulated independently from each other.
  • The cognitive component in the multidimensional anxiety theory is explained as the negative concerns and apprehensions about an individuals own ability to perform a certain task associated with an underlying irrational belief of failure and incompetency
  • The somatic component of the multidimensional anxiety theory is explained as the physiological effects produced due to anxiety. The somatic component includes palpitations, sweating, hot flashes, restlessness and shortness of breath.

What is the catastrophe model of state anxiety?

The catastrophe model of state anxiety suggests that if the cognitive anxiety is high and the somatic anxiety is low, it will help to improve the individual’s performance. However if the somatic anxiety is high along with high cognitive anxiety, resulting in the increased physiological arousal, this will deteriorate the individual’s performance and lead to a catastrophic response in the individual.

Where the multidimensional anxiety theory predicts that cognitive component and somatic component of anxiety relate independently and separately to the performance anxiety, the catastrophe model of anxiety suggests that both the cognitive and somatic anxiety have effects on the performance of the individual that can not be separately viewed.

What is the application of multidimensional anxiety theory?

The application of multidimensional anxiety theory is most commonly viewed in the area of sports psychology where the performance of athletes is measured in respect to their cognitive and somatic components of anxiety.

A number of research studies have been carried out to measure the effect of anxiety on athletic performance with reference to the somatic components and cognitive components of anxiety. A research study carried out in 1990 tended to explore the effect of somatic and cognitive components of anxiety on the performance of athletes on the basis of multidimensional anxiety theory and catastrophe theory. The research focused on exploring the arousal / anxiety relationship among athletes.

Conclusion

The current blogspot focused on exploring the multidimensional anxiety theory. We discussed the key components of the multidimensional anxiety theory, the predictions of multidimensional anxiety theory and its difference from catastrophe theory of anxiety in explaining anxiety.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs): Who proposed multidimensional anxiety theory?

Who proposed multidimensional anxiety theory?

The multidimensional anxiety theory was proposed by Martens et al., 1990 and the Catastrophe Model of the multidimensional anxiety theory was proposed by  Hardy & Fazey, 1987 . Both the multidimensional anxiety theory and the catastrophe model of multidimensional anxiety theory  are the two foremost theories that have explained state anxiety in view of its components.

What is the catastrophe model of anxiety?

The catastrophe model of state anxiety suggests that if the cognitive anxiety is high and the somatic anxiety is low, it will help to improve the individual’s performance. However if the somatic anxiety is high along with high cognitive anxiety, resulting in the increased physiological arousal, this will deteriorate the individual’s performance and lead to a catastrophic response in the individual.

What is cognitive and somatic anxiety?

Somatic anxiety is also known as somatization. Somatic anxiety is the physical presentation of the cognitive component of anxiety. Cognitive anxiety is the mental representation of anxiety. Cognitive anxiety is on the basis of distorted thoughts  that occur during the anxiety.

What is an arousal sport?

Arousal is the level of consciousness and alertness that an individual experiences before performing a certain activity. For example an athlete may experience the highest arousal just before his performance and the lowest arousal soon after his performance.

 

Citations

https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/oi/authority.20110803100215602

https://libres.uncg.edu/ir/uncg/listing.aspx?id=26318

https://journals.humankinetics.com/view/journals/apaq/14/2/article-p108.xml

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