Activity Preference, Physique, and Personality Characteristics

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Studies of personality and soma to typing suggest that there are fundamental types which influence choice of physical activities. These findings have implications for planning physical education on an individual basis.

Thune conducted a study to discover some of the differences in attitudes and personality traits which may exist between weight lifters and other active team sport athletes. He found that tended to be strong and dominant individuals who received more satisfaction in winning an individual championship than being a member of a winning team. They definitely disliked traditional sports.

Hanley reported on the relationship between body type and reputation as measured by a reputation test of the “who’s who” type among two groups of boys, ages 16-20. Boys of mesomorphic build were described as “good at games,” “real boy,” “takes chances,” and “leadership,” Ectomorphic boys were “bashful,” “untidy,” “not quarrelsome,” “admissive.”

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Personality was found to be a factor in selecting physical activities by Flanagan. Results indicated that fencers seemed to be more dominant, more feminine, and more extroverted than those engaged in badminton, basketball, volleyball, boxing, and swimming. Volleyball players seemed to be more submissive, more introverted, and less emotionally stable.

Nelson studied the personality and attitude differences of those who chose ROTC in preference to the physical education program. The military students were less in favour of physical activity and competition, and displayed a withdrawing disposition in social situations. They preferred organized uniformed groups and had a more favourably attitude toward authority and position.

Cabot in studying the relationships between characteristic of personality and physique in adolescents, found that a good physique disposes boys to develop traits of self-expression, social acceptability, and physical vitality.

An analysis of data covering ten years at the United States Military Academy by Appleton, revealed significant positive relationships between physical ability of cadets at the time of entrance and the criterion of success or failure to graduate from the Military Academy.

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Ragsdale compared 45 women physical education majors and 45 non-majors in the ratings given by high school principals. The two groups were equal in appearance, manners, and purposeful use of time. The physical education group was superior in leadership and initiative, and more of this group displayed a high degree of emotional control.

Bayer and Reichard reported that somatic androgyny indicates a relationship between physique and certain psychological reaction patterns.

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