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I Am Great, but Only When I Also Want to Dominate: Maladaptive Narcissism Moderates the Relationship Between Adaptive Narcissism and Performance Under Pressure

Shuge Zhang, Ross Roberts, Tim Woodman, and Andrew Cooke

Narcissism–performance research has focused on grandiose narcissism but has not examined the interaction between its so-called adaptive (reflecting overconfidence) and maladaptive (reflecting a domineering orientation) components. In this research, the authors tested interactions between adaptive and maladaptive narcissism using two motor tasks (basketball and golf in Experiments 1 and 2, respectively) and a cognitive task (letter transformation in Experiment 3). Across all experiments, adaptive narcissism predicted performance under pressure only when maladaptive narcissism was high. In the presence of maladaptive narcissism, adaptive narcissism also predicted decreased pre-putt time in Experiment 2 and an adaptive psychophysiological response in Experiment 3, reflecting better processing efficiency. Findings suggest that individuals high in both aspects of narcissism perform better under pressure thanks to superior task processing. In performance contexts, the terms “adaptive” and “maladaptive”—adopted from social psychology—are oversimplistic and inaccurate. The authors believe that “self-inflated narcissism” and “dominant narcissism” are better monikers for these constructs.

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Beyond Sensation Seeking: Affect Regulation as a Framework for Predicting Risk-Taking Behaviors in High-Risk Sport

Carole Castanier, Christine Le Scanff, and Tim Woodman

Sensation seeking has been widely studied when investigating individual differences in the propensity for taking risks. However, risk taking can serve many different goals beyond the simple management of physiological arousal. The present study is an investigation of affect self-regulation as a predictor of risk-taking behaviors in high-risk sport. Risk-taking behaviors, negative affectivity, escape self-awareness strategy, and sensation seeking data were obtained from 265 high-risk sportsmen. Moderated hierarchical regression analysis revealed significant main and interaction effects of negative affectivity and escape self-awareness strategy in predicting risk-taking behaviors: high-risk sportsmen’s negative affectivity leads them to adopt risk-taking behaviors only if they also use escape self-awareness strategy. Furthermore, the affective model remained significant when controlling for sensation seeking. The present study contributes to an in-depth understanding of risk taking in high-risk sport.

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Perfectionism and the ‘Yips’: An Initial Investigation

Ross Roberts, Mike Rotheram, Ian Maynard, Owen Thomas, and Tim Woodman

The present investigation examined whether perfectionism might predict whether an athlete would suffer from the ‘yips’ (a long term movement disorder consisting of involuntary movements that affects the execution of motor skills). A sample of ‘yips’-affected individuals from golf, cricket, and darts as well as a sport-matched sample of non ’yips’-affected athletes completed the shortened version of Frost, Marten, Lahart, and Rosenblate’s (1990) multidimensional perfectionism scale (FMPS). Results revealed that three aspects of perfectionism (personal standards, organization, and concern over mistakes) were associated with a greater likelihood of suffering from the ‘yips’, indicating that ‘yips’ sufferers had an unhealthy perfectionism profile. The results highlight perfectionism as a possible antecedent of the ‘yips’ experience within sport.

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Bulls in a China Shop: Narcissism, Intragroup Conflict, and Task Cohesion

Matt W. Boulter, James Hardy, Ross Roberts, and Tim Woodman

When given opportunities for personal glory in individual settings, people high in narcissism excel. However, less is known about narcissists’ influence in team contexts. Across two studies (utilizing cross-sectional and two-wave longitudinal designs) involving 706 athletes from 68 teams in total, we tested a conceptual model linking narcissism to task cohesion, via intragroup conflict, moderated by narcissistic group composition. We tested a new sports-oriented measure of intragroup conflict using Bayesian estimation and evaluated our theorizing using a multilevel conditional indirect effect hybrid model. Across both studies, we found that narcissism influenced perceptions of task cohesion via process conflict only, with a negative influence at low narcissistic group composition that was weakened (Study 1) or nullified (Study 2) at high narcissistic team composition. Collectively, these findings offer the first example of how narcissism influences task cohesion in team settings and the contextual effects of narcissistic group composition.

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Interactive Effects of Different Visual Imagery Perspectives and Narcissism on Motor Performance

Ross Roberts, Nichola Callow, Lew Hardy, Tim Woodman, and Laura Thomas

Two studies examined the interactive effects of different visual imagery perspectives and narcissism on motor performance. In both studies participants completed the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI-40: Raskin & Hall, 1979) and were assigned to either an internal visual imagery or external visual imagery group. Participants then performed a motor task (dart throwing in Study 1 and golf putting in Study 2) under conditions of practice, low self-enhancement, and high self-enhancement. Following completion of the respective tasks, participants were categorized into high and low narcissistic groups based on their NPI-40 scores. In both studies, high narcissists using external visual imagery significantly improved performance from the low to the high self-enhancement condition, whereas high narcissists using internal visual imagery did not. Low narcissists remained relatively constant in performance across self-enhancement conditions, regardless of perspective. The results highlight the importance of considering personality characteristics when examining the effects of visual imagery perspectives on performance.

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Predictive Validity of a Three-Dimensional Model of Performance Anxiety in the Context of Tae-Kwon-Do

Wen-Nuan Kara Cheng, Lew Hardy, and Tim Woodman

We tested the predictive validity of the recently validated three-dimensional model of performance anxiety (Chang, Hardy, & Markland, 2009) with elite tae-kwon-do competitors (N = 99). This conceptual framework emphasized the adaptive potential of anxiety by including a regulatory dimension (reflected by perceived control) along with the intensity-oriented dimensions of cognitive and physiological anxiety. Anxiety was assessed 30 min before a competitive contest using the Three-Factor Anxiety Inventory. Competitors rated their performance on a tae-kwon-do–specific performance scale within 30 min after completion of their contest. Moderated hierarchical regression analyses revealed initial support for the predictive validity of the three-dimensional performance anxiety model. The regulatory dimension of anxiety (perceived control) revealed significant main and interactive effects on performance. This dimension appeared to be adaptive, as performance was better under high than low perceived control, and best vs. worst performance was associated with highest vs. lowest perceived control, respectively. Results are discussed in terms of the importance of the regulatory dimension of anxiety.

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The Darker Side of Personality: Narcissism Predicts Moral Disengagement and Antisocial Behavior in Sport

Benjamin D. Jones, Tim Woodman, Matthew Barlow, and Ross Roberts

Despite a plethora of research on moral disengagement and antisocial behavior, there is a dearth of literature that explores personality in the context of these undesirable attitudes and behaviors. We provide the first examination of personality, specifically narcissism, as a predictor of moral disengagement and antisocial behavior in sport. Given that narcissism is negatively related to empathy and positively related to feelings of entitlement, it is more likely for narcissists to disengage morally and to behave antisocially. We thus hypothesized that narcissism would predict antisocial behavior via moral disengagement. Across 12 team contact sports (n = 272), bootstrapped mediation analyses confirmed this indirect effect, which remained significant when controlling for motivational climate, social desirability, sex and sport type. Coaches and practitioners would do well to consider the darker side of personality in targeting moral disengagement and its behavioral consequences in team sports.

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Emotions and Sport Performance: An Exploration of Happiness, Hope, and Anger

Tim Woodman, Paul A. Davis, Lew Hardy, Nichola Callow, Ian Glasscock, and Jason Yuill-Proctor

We conducted three experiments to examine the relationships between emotions and subcomponents of performance. Experiment 1 revealed that anger was associated with enhanced gross muscular peak force performance but that happiness did not influence grammatical reasoning performance. Following Lazarus (1991, 2000a), we examined hope rather than happiness in Experiment 2. As hypothesized, hope yielded faster soccer-related reaction times in soccer players. Experiment 3 was an examination of extraversion as a moderator of the anger-performance relationship. When angry, extraverts’ peak force increased more than introverts’. Results are discussed and future research directions are offered in relation to Lazarus’s framework.

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The Role of Athlete Narcissism in Moderating the Relationship Between Coaches’ Transformational Leader Behaviors and Athlete Motivation

Calum Alexander Arthur, Tim Woodman, Chin Wei Ong, Lew Hardy, and Nikos Ntoumanis

Leadership research that examines follower characteristics as a potential moderator of leadership effectiveness is lacking. Within Bass’s (1985) transformational leadership framework, we examined follower narcissism as a moderator of the coach behavior–coach effectiveness relationship. Youth athletes (male = 103, female = 106) from the Singapore Sports Academy (mean age = 14.28, SD = 1.40 years) completed the Differentiated Transformational Leadership Inventory (Callow, Smith, Hardy, Arthur, & Hardy, 2009), the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (Raskin & Terry, 1988), and indices of follower effort. Multilevel analyses revealed that athlete narcissism moderated the relationship between fostering acceptance of group goals and athlete effort and between high performance expectations and athlete effort. All the other transformational leader behaviors demonstrated main effects on follower effort, except for inspirational motivation.

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Not All Risks Are Equal: The Risk Taking Inventory for High-Risk Sports

Tim Woodman, Matt Barlow, Comille Bandura, Miles Hill, Dominika Kupciw, and Alexandra MacGregor

Although high-risk sport participants are typically considered a homogenous risk-taking population, attitudes to risk within the high-risk domain can vary considerably. As no validated measure allows researchers to assess risk taking within this domain, we validated the Risk Taking Inventory (RTI) for high-risk sport across four studies. The RTI comprises seven items across two factors: deliberate risk taking and precautionary behaviors. In Study 1 (n = 341), the inventory was refined and tested via a confirmatory factor analysis used in an exploratory fashion. The subsequent three studies confirmed the RTI’s good model–data fit via three further separate confirmatory factor analyses. In Study 2 (n = 518) and in Study 3 (n = 290), concurrent validity was also confirmed via associations with other related traits (sensation seeking, behavioral activation, behavioral inhibition, impulsivity, self-esteem, extraversion, and conscientiousness). In Study 4 (n = 365), predictive validity was confirmed via associations with mean accidents and mean close calls in the high-risk domain. Finally, in Study 4, the self-report version of the inventory was significantly associated with an informant version of the inventory. The measure will allow researchers and practitioners to investigate risk taking as a variable that is conceptually distinct from participation in a high-risk sport.