Performance Psychology for Safety

Performance Psychology for Safety

Performance psychology is a subdivision of psychology that examines psychological factors influencing optimal human performance. It focuses on domains such as sport, business and creative pursuits.

Ever wondered how elite performers and their organisations achieve sustainable excellence?

Increasingly, high-level performance relies on an understanding of the psychology of excellence, not only in sport but in areas as diverse as the performing arts, the military and emergency services.

In this show, let’s explore Performance Psychology for Safety with Darren Sutton.

There are various aspects we are going to cover in this show and alas, more acronyms. However, I have given a brief overview on some of the key subjects and what it entails.

Psychological Characteristics for Developing Excellence (PCDE)

Recognising the importance of developing and using such psychological traits, Abbot and Collins (2004) investigated the usefulness and practicality of psychological characteristics of developing excellence (PCDEs).

PCDEs can aid the learning of new skills (e.g., focus, distraction control) but also enable athletes to gain the most out of each training session (e.g., goal-setting, realistic performance evaluations).

PCDEs also enable athletes to remain on their pathway to excellence by investing the necessary time for training in addition to staying committed to the learning process, particularly when their peers may be engaging in perceivably more joyful activities (Ref Link).

Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy (REBT)

Inspired primarily by the Stoic philosophers, REBT holds that it is not events that directly cause emotions and behaviors.

Rather, it is one’s beliefs about the events that lead to emotional and behavioral reactivity.

This is a common cognitive-behavioral philosophy shared across various approaches. REBT places this central idea or philosophy into an ABC framework where the event is represented by the letter A (activating event or adversity), the beliefs are allocated the letter B, and finally emotions and behaviors are represented by C (consequences).

(Ref Link).

Self Determination Theory (SDT)

Self-determination theory suggests that people are motivated to grow and change by three innate and universal psychological needs.

According to self-determination theory, people need to feel the following in order to achieve psychological growth:

  • Competence: People need to gain mastery of tasks and learn different skills. When people feel that they have the skills needed for success, they are more likely to take actions that will help them achieve their goals.
  • Connection or Relatedness: People need to experience a sense of belonging and attachment to other people.
  • Autonomy: People need to feel in control of their own behaviours and goals. This sense of being able to take direct action that will result in real change plays a major part in helping people feel self-determined.

(Ref Link)