This study examines the relationship between psychophysiological arousal, cognitive anxiety, and personality traits in young taekwondo athletes. A total of 20 male and 10 female taekwondo athletes (mean age = 18.6 years; ± 1.8) volunteered for the study. The Five Factor Personality Inventory and the state scale of the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) were used to measure personality and cognitive state anxiety. Electrodermal activity (EDA) was measured twice, one day and approximately one hour prior to the competition, to determine psychophysiological arousal. Descriptive statistics, Pearson product-moment correlations, and stepwise regression were used to analyze the data. Several "Big Five" facets were related to the EDA delta scores that were measured both one day and one hour before the competition. Two stepwise regressions were conducted to examine whether personality traits could significantly predict both EDA delta scores. The final model, containing only neuroticism from the Big Five factors, can significantly explain the variations in the EDA delta scores measured one day before the competition. Agreeableness can significantly explain variations in the EDA delta scores measured one hour before the competition. No relationship was found between cognitive anxiety and the EDA delta scores measured one hour before the competition. In conclusion, personality traits, especially agreeableness and neuroticism, might be useful in understanding arousal responses to competition.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.