Nonverbal behavior accompanying challenge and threat states under pressure

Jack Brimmell, John K. Parker, Philip Furley, Lee J. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: This study examined if challenge and threat states predicted nonverbal behavior during a pressurized soccer penalty task. Design: A predictive design was employed. Method: Forty-two participants (Mage = 24 years, SD = 7) completed the task. Before the task, challenge and threat states were assessed via demand resource evaluations and cardiovascular reactivity. During the task, nonverbal behavior was recorded, and later used to rate participants on six scales: (1) submissive–dominant, (2) unconfident–confident, (3) on edge–composed, (4) unfocused–focused, (5) threatened–challenged, and (6) inaccurate–accurate. Results: Participants who evaluated the task as a challenge (coping resources exceed task demands) were deemed more dominant, confident, composed, challenged, and competent from their nonverbal behavior than those who evaluated it as a threat (task demands exceed coping resources). Cardiovascular reactivity did not predict nonverbal behavior. Conclusions: Athletes' challenge and threat evaluations might be associated with nonverbal behavior under high-pressure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-94
Number of pages5
JournalPsychology of Sport and Exercise
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Appraisal
  • Body language
  • Impression formation
  • Psychophysiology
  • Soccer penalty-kick
  • Stress


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