This study examines the effects of competition and competitiveness on hemodynamics. Cardiovascular activity was measured in 27 men at resting baseline and during a car racing game, which comprised a solo race against time and three races against an experimenter. To assess hematocrit, blood was collected at rest and after the final race. Trait competitiveness was assessed by questionnaire. Competition elicited increases in hematocrit, blood pressure, heart rate, and total peripheral resistance, as well as decreases in preejection period and heart rate variability. The final race was rated as more competitive than the solo race. Compared to intrapersonal solo racing, the final interpersonal race was associated with shorter preejection periods and faster heart rates, markers of beta-adrenergic activation. Although trait competitiveness was not associated with beta-adrenergic activation, variations in state competitiveness were.
- cardiovascular reactivity