Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis open access


This experiment manipulated the level of environmental demand in a pressured dart-throwing task in order to investigate the effects of individual difference variables on performance. After performing baseline trials alone, the participant was told additional trials would occur with an audience and that they would have the chance to win $100 if they met 90%, 100%, or 110% of their baseline scores. This demand manipulation did not affect performances. However, across demand conditions, participants reported significant increases in ratings of pressure, motivation, and anxiety compared to their baseline trials. High adaptive narcissism scores predicted worse performance under pressure than low scores, and high maladaptive narcissism scores predicted lower anxiety ratings after the pressured trials than low scores. There was also an unexpected effect of sex differences on performance in the pressured trials. Men did better than women in the first trial, while women did better than men in the second trial. These results suggest that individual differences affect performance under pressure independent of environmental demand.

Included in

Psychology Commons