Competitive Arousal

Ku, Gillian and Adam, Marc T. P. (2022) Competitive Arousal. In: The Oxford Handbook of the Psychology of Competition. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780190060800


Abstract Competition and competitive contexts inherently contain elements that generate arousal (sympathetic activation of the autonomic system). In addition to the arousal experienced from competing against another person(s), other elements in competitive contexts, such as time pressure, audience effects, competing for scarce and/or valued items, etc., can create arousal. This chapter elaborates on how competition and competitive contexts can generate arousal, which then affects decision making. Simultaneously, the authors discuss how arousal that is independent of the competitive context can have similar decision-making effects. On one hand, arousal can facilitate and improve decision making. On the other hand, it can impair sound and rational decision making. This chapter gives an overview of the concept of competitive arousal by providing a review of what is known about the nature of competitive arousal, the factors that influence its emergence, moderators, and its effects on decision making. The authors conclude with several open questions as well as a general discussion of the theoretical and practical implications of competitive arousal in different decision making contexts.

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Item Type: Book Section
Subject Areas: Organisational Behaviour
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2023 13:06
Subjects: Psychology
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2023 13:06

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