Hardy and Fazey’s (1987) cusp catastrophe model of anxiety and performance has been criticized for being overly complex and difficult to test. The present paper attempts to clarify the model for researchers who are less familiar with its more subtle nuances; it then differentiates between the characteristics of cusp catastrophe models in general and the specific predictions of Hardy and Fazey’s cusp catastrophe model of anxiety and performance. For each prediction, methodological and statistical procedures are suggested whereby the prediction can be tested, and the available evidence that has used these procedures is then briefly reviewed. Some of the practical implications of the cusp catastrophe model for best practice are also discussed.
Lew Hardy is with the Division of Health and Human Performance at the University of Wales, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 2DG, United Kingdom.