The Inverted-U Model and Stress (Yerkes-Dodson Law)

Great article on stress and productivity/performance. This is very applicable to technology and stress as tech stress interferes and delays productivity. It is interesting to note that even though this theory was introduced in 1908, the fundamental model is applicable as we have migrated from labor to machines to technology. Below are a brief synopsis and a link to the full article. RE

https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/inverted-u.htm

About the Model

The Inverted-U model (also known as the Yerkes-Dodson Law), was created by psychologists Robert Yerkes and John Dodson as long ago as 1908. Despite its age, it’s a model that has stood the test of time.

It shows the relationship between pressure (or arousal) and performance.

The Four Influencers

The shape of the Inverted-U curve shown in Figure 1 is for illustration only – in reality, the shape of the curve will depend on the situation and the individual person.

There are four main “influencers” that can affect this. These are:

  1. Skill Level.
  2. Personality.
  3. Trait Anxiety.
  4. Task Complexity.

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