Article

# From law to folklore: Work stress and the Yerkes-Dodson Law

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## Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine how a speculative animal behaviour modification experiment conducted over 100 years ago evolved into a scientific law of human behaviour that is now widely cited in managerial psychology texts and journals. The paper considers the implications of this evolution for the theory and practice of work stress management in particular, and managerial psychology in general. Design/methodology/approach – Using insights from social constructivist studies of science the empirical evidence supporting the Yerkes-Dodson Law (YDL) is examined and found wanting. The role played by the simple graphical representation of the YDL in its popularisation is considered. Findings – Analysis reveals that the YDL has no basis in empirical fact but continues to inform managerial practices which seek to increase or maintain, rather than minimise, levels of stress in the workplace as a means to enhance employee performance. Practical implications – Practitioners should not seek to increase performance through the manipulation of employee stress levels. Originality/value – The paper brings attention to the potentially harmful ways the publication of long-discredited models of stress and performance can influence management practice.

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... The experiments demonstrated a curvilinear relationship between stimuli strength and performance and later studies have repeatedly verified its effect and curvilinear relationship, also in humans (Broadhurst, 1957;Cole, 1911;Levitt, 1967;Teigen, 1994;White, 1959). The Yerkes-Dodson Law has been reinterpreted numerous times since its development and its effects has often been criticized for being overemphasized and adapted for convenience (Corbett, 2015;Teigen, 1994). The only consistent representation has been that the law involves the said curvilinear relationship, where an increasing level of stress is beneficial up until a certain optimum, until it begins to worsen the intellectual performance (Gino, 2016;Teigen, 1994). ...
... The law has for example been used to explain the effects of psychosocial stress of prospective memory performance (Piefke & Glienke, 2017), to explain anxiety-or stress related problems in professional musicians (de Figueiredo Rocha, 2020) and to structure appropriate guidelines on goalsetting for PhD's striving to make a career in academia (Bielczyk et al., 2020). Merely, the law has evolved from defining the results of a study on specific rodent behavior into being a widely cited scientific law of human behavior (Corbett, 2015), as has also been the case with for example Pavlovian conditioning (Harris & Bouton, 2020;Rescorla, 1971Rescorla, , 1988. ...
... Simultaneously, and to our knowledge for the first time, we tested whether the magnitude of such a compensation scheme would have a positive or negative effect on the level of (cognitive/mechanical) performance in such a task, as theorized by the Yerkes-Dodson Law (Calabrese, 2008;Teigen, 1994;Yerkes & Dodson, 1908 (Brink & Rankin, 2013;Fryer Jr. et al., 2012;Hochman et al., 2014;Hossain & List, 2012;Imas et al., 2017;Marchegiani et al., 2016). Moreover, it contributes to the existing research on the Yerkes-Dodson Law and the relationship between varying magnitudes of an incentive and its impact on performance (Broadhurst, 1957;Calabrese, 2008;Corbett;Gino, 2016;Hockey, 1997;Piefke & Glienke, 2017;Teigen, 1994;Yerkes & Dodson, 1908). The primary practical application of an employee compensation structure based on Loss Aversion, is its implications for the economic viability of monetary bonuses, as empirical findings suggest that performance increases associated with Loss Aversion does not incur any additional costs, since the increase comes from altering the framing in the employee compensation contract (Hossain & List, 2012). ...
Article
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Monetary bonus schemes are one of the most well-used forms of employee compensation in the modern business world. Yet, such schemes are primarily constructed as gains to incentivize an increase in work effort and performance. Using insights from behavioral economics, we construct a novel extrinsic compensation system modelled after Loss Aversion and the Yerkes-Dodson Law. We test this system using two experimental designs that measure performance based on cognitive- and mechanical efforts, respectively. In study 1 we find no difference in cognitive performance between 4 different bonus schemes. In a pre-registered study 2 we again find no difference in mechanical performance between 4 different conditions. Contrary to previous research, our findings suggest no significant effect of bonus schemes modelled after Loss Aversion and Yerkes-Dodson Law, whether administered alone or in combination. We discuss limitations and implications for compensation design and research.
... 3 This rationale echoes the oft-cited Yerkes-Dodson law, which asserts that performance increases as arousal (i.e., stress) increases until an apex is reached, after which performance decreases ( Figure 1). 8 Attendings may ascribe efficacy based on toxic quizzing that they received during training, believing: "It worked for me!" 3 A 2019 study found that 45% (56/125) of medicine attendings surveyed agreed with the statement that "being pimped by my teachers helped me learn when I was a medical trainee." 6 Multiple qualitative studies show that some medical students perceive toxic quizzing as motivating, valuable for learning, 7,9 or necessary for enculturation into medicine. ...
... While proponents of toxic quizzing may point to the Yerkes-Dodson law, few know that this flawed model was based on studies using Japanese dancing mice in 1908. 8 The findings transmuted over time to a "law" stating that increasing stress increases performance, a sentiment that was coopted by medical education. However, a review of subsequent research has shown that the Yerkes-Dodson law is not supported by robust evidence. ...
... However, a review of subsequent research has shown that the Yerkes-Dodson law is not supported by robust evidence. 8 Causing emotional or psychological distress may actually impede learning. 11 Despite this, the stress-performance sentiment of the Yerkes-Dodson lives on in pedagogical lore. ...
... Nepal et al. (2006) extensively analysed the dynamic effects of schedule pressure on project performance. Research in managerial psychology explained the relationship between work stress and performance in completing a task by an inverse U-shaped curve, which is known as the Yerkes-Dodson Law (Corbett, 2015). It has been argued that schedule pressure acts as a major stressor to workers and productivity measures the efficiency of work performance, therefore, the above relationship equally holds between schedule pressure and productivity (Nepal et al., 2006). ...
... Therefore, we excluded the well-studied ripple effects of additional resources such as the impact of workforce experience on quality and productivity, and congestion. According to the Yerkes-Dodson Law (Corbett, 2015), we assume that there exists a certain ideal level of schedule pressure at which the performance is optimum (maximum productivity) which is dependent to task complexity. An appropriate level of schedule pressure can increase the work rate, but "too much" or "too little" pressure can be detrimental to productivity (Corbett, 2015;Nepal et al., 2006). ...
... According to the Yerkes-Dodson Law (Corbett, 2015), we assume that there exists a certain ideal level of schedule pressure at which the performance is optimum (maximum productivity) which is dependent to task complexity. An appropriate level of schedule pressure can increase the work rate, but "too much" or "too little" pressure can be detrimental to productivity (Corbett, 2015;Nepal et al., 2006). We assumed that parameters such as the fraction of work with potential innovation, the fraction of innovation opportunities related to the removal of non-value-adding works, delay in the budget expansion are fixed inputs. ...
Article
The focus of this paper is on analyzing the value creation dynamics in the project implementation phase. By value creation, we mean the activities, processes, and strategies that the project team uses to increase benefits and/or reduce costs in the project. By synthesizing the literature on project management and system dynamics, we developed a simulation model with various structures underlying project dynamics. We considered four structures that influence project realized value: project team features, project characteristics, project controls and value creation processes, and project remedial actions due to ripple effects. The resulting model can systematically examine the interplay of value creation processes: work progression, rework, redesign and innovation, and rescheduling. We used the model to explain how the project team’s capability, motivation, and speed of making the best-for-project decisions ensure that the value creation goals are met. We simulate various scenarios that show the significance of the processes and their influencing structures on the realized value. The results present how endogenous and exogenous drivers of system behavior unfold over time and provide a richer understanding of the effect of various model structures such as project complexity and uncertainty on value creation.
... Anxiety is a normal emotion that individuals experience in response to situations that they perceive as threatening [1,2]. The Yerkes-Dodson law suggests that there is a relationship between anxiety and performance [3]. A moderate level of anxiety or arousal can improve an individual's execution of tasks, but a high level of anxiety can reduce this efficiency [3]. ...
... The Yerkes-Dodson law suggests that there is a relationship between anxiety and performance [3]. A moderate level of anxiety or arousal can improve an individual's execution of tasks, but a high level of anxiety can reduce this efficiency [3]. Associated physiological symptoms of anxiety include heart palpitations, high blood pressure and changes to breathing patterns. ...
Article
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Purpose of review Anxiety is a prevalent mental health condition which manifests as a disproportionate response of fear to a perceived threat. Different types of anxiety disorders vary in their pathophysiology, symptoms and treatments. The causes of anxiety disorders are complex and largely unknown; however, it has been suggested that a number of brain mechanisms and neurotransmitters are involved in the development of these conditions. While there are non-pharmacological treatments for anxiety, many patients are prescribed medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors and/or benzodiazepines. Unfortunately, these medications have issues with efficacy and safety, and therefore, there is a continuing need for newer medicines. The cannabis constituents of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) and terpenes have been proposed as a potential treatment for anxiety conditions. Recent findings Medicinal cannabis constituents act on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and other targets. The ECS affects several physiological functions through modulation of the central nervous system and inflammatory pathways. In particular, CBD has been suggested to exhibit anxiolytic properties, whereas THC can either have an anxiogenic or anxiolytic effect, depending on the dose, route of administration and individual genetic and environmental factors. There is also evidence that terpenes could be effective in anxiety management. Summary Currently, there is a gap in the literature as to whether standardised CBD and/or THC preparations can be used for anxiety disorders. Further information is required to know the precise doses and CBD-THC ratios from human clinical trials and real-world patient use.
... The aim of Goel et al. in [80] was to study user susceptibility to deception in relation to information-processing. The authors proposed a theoretical framework to investigate how certain factors like the context of phishing emails may affect susceptibility. ...
... According to the Yerkes-Dodson Law (YDL) [128], moderate levels of alertness can be beneficial and may serve as motivators, while low or high levels of alertness may result in poor performance. For many years, work managersbased on YDL -used to adopt strategies of manipulating stress levels of employees for boosting performance and increasing productivity [80]. However, recent studies in several scientific fields showcase contradictory results regarding stress levels and productivity. ...
Preprint
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These days, cyber-criminals target humans rather than machines since they try to accomplish their malicious intentions by exploiting the weaknesses of end users. Thus, human vulnerabilities pose a serious threat to the security and integrity of computer systems and data. The human tendency to trust and help others, as well as personal, social, and cultural characteristics, are indicative of the level of susceptibility that one may exhibit towards certain attack types and deception strategies. This work aims to investigate the factors that affect human susceptibility by studying the existing literature related to this subject. The objective is also to explore and describe state of the art human vulnerability assessment models, current prevention, and mitigation approaches regarding user susceptibility, as well as educational and awareness raising training strategies. Following the review of the literature, several conclusions are reached. Among them, Human Vulnerability Assessment has been included in various frameworks aiming to assess the cyber security capacity of organizations, but it concerns a one time assessment rather than a continuous practice. Moreover, human maliciousness is still neglected from current Human Vulnerability Assessment frameworks; thus, insider threat actors evade identification, which may lead to an increased cyber security risk. Finally, this work proposes a user susceptibility profile according to the factors stemming from our research.
... Present day interpretations of the classic Yerkes-Dodson law state that higher amounts of stress can, to a point, lead to a higher level of performance [5]. If the optimal point is exceeded, in moments of acute stress for example, task performance and decision-making abilities could become impaired followed by a decline in performance quality [6]. ...
... Stress is a state that cannot be directly observed yet affects performance [5]. Evaluation of an individual's physiological response while experiencing high mental demands with subsequent inference on performance quality is an established concept [20]. ...
Article
Optimizing performance of individuals in acutely stressful work-related situations requires a deeper understanding of the interaction between the demands of the stimuli and an individual’s associated physiological response. Identifying these responses is particularly germane for healthcare professionals, who experience episodes of acute stress on a regular basis. The purpose of this review was to examine and synthesize empirical literature to identify studies assessing physiological responses to acute stress, determine common methods for measuring acute stress in near real-time, and identify common research designs employed across industries. A modified PRISMA approach was followed. Systematic searches were conducted of four databases (PsycINFO, Medline, PubMed, and Turning Research into Practice [TRIP]) to access eligibility. Reference list searches and a hand search were also conducted to identify other articles suitable for inclusion. Studies selected examined an acute physiological response while participants were engaged in a stress-inducing task. Twenty-two articles were included. Fifteen (68.2%) were centered on the human service industry while only three (13.6%) focused on healthcare professionals. Half of the studies incorporated a simulation into the research design while only two (9.1%) articles looked at physiological responses in real-world settings. Heart rate and cortisol emerged as the most common physiological measures collected. This review demonstrates that acute stress is primarily assessed retrospectively, and that there is a pragmatic gap in methodological approach, with many data collection methods inappropriate for the healthcare environment. Future research should capitalize on advancements in sensor technology to passively examine acute stress in healthcare professionals.
... Arousal theory [90][91][92] has been the most influential and ubiquitous model perhaps in all of the stress literature (e.g. [9,10,93,94]). It postulates an inverted-U relationship and is alternatively known as the Yerkes-Dodson law [95]. ...
... Not surprisingly, many researchers in the field of psychology have levelled criticisms at arousal theory and the inverted-U model as an explanation of the relationship between stress and performance (e.g. [93,94,[225][226][227]). The main arguments fall into two categories: first, Yerkes and Dodsons' original experimental study [95] was about animal learning, and the researchers themselves connected none of their observations with stress and performance. ...
... However, as these studies followed correlational study designs, they are criticised for lacking causality. Vice versa, for example, there is also evidence that productivity growth may have detrimental effects on health as a typical approach to cut costs is downsizing (fewer people do the same work), which in turn has been shown to result in higher job-demands and higher presenteeism [36,37]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Decision makers want to know if there is a financial benefit in investing scarce resources in occupational health management (OHM). Economic evaluations (EEs) of OHM-strategies try to answer this question. However, EEs of OHM-strategies which are strongly marked by quantitative methods may be limited by contextual, qualitative residuals. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to (1) explore important economic dimensions of OHM and (2) to discuss the methods used in current EEs for measuring these dimensions. Methods In this explorative qualitative study, OHM-specialists were recruited via the Swiss organisation for health promotion. Thirteen semi-structured interviews were performed from November 2020 until May 2021. Videotapes were transcribed verbatim and organised by using an open coding strategy. Codes were clustered and synthesised as themes (i.e. the dimensions of EEs of OHM) through a mix of inductive and deductive content analysis. Member check with eight participants was accomplished to validate the results. Results The interviews had an average duration of 70.5 min and yielded 609 individual codes. These codes were merged into 28 subcategories which were finally categorised into five main themes: Understanding of OHM, costs, benefits, environmental aspects, and evaluation of OHM. Participants stated that the greater part of costs and benefits cannot be quantified or monetised and thus, considered in quantitative EEs. For example, they see a culture of health as key component for a successful OHM-strategy. However, the costs to establish such a culture as well as its benefits are hard to quantify. Participants were highly critical of the use of absenteeism as a linear measure of productivity. Furthermore, they explained that single, rare events, such as a change in leadership, can have significant impact on employee health. However, such external influence factors are difficult to control. Conclusions Participants perceived costs and benefits of OHM significantly different than how they are represented in current EEs. According to the OHM-specialists, most benefits cannot be quantified and thus, monetised. These intangible benefits as well as critical influencing factors during the process should be assessed qualitatively and considered in EEs when using them as a legitimation basis vis-à-vis decision makers.
... Teori ini sendiri berasal dari Hukum Yerkes Dodson (Yerkes dan Dodson, 1908) atau dikenal dengan singkatan YDL menjelaskan bagaimana aktivasi psikologis seseorang diperlukan agar karyawan termotivasi untuk berkinerja yang efektif dan efisien dan untuk mencapai tujuan organisasi. Meskipun YDL banyak dikritik oleh para teoretikus modern (Corbett, 2015), namun faktanya hubungan positif stres kerja dengan kinerja ini telah banyak didukung secara empiris (seperti Bruggen, 2015). Menindaklanjuti perbedaan yang sudah diuraikan di atas, maka penelitian ini bertujuan untuk menguji relevansi hubungan kurva terbalik antara stres kerja dan kinerja karyawan di sektor jasa restoran di Jakarta. ...
Article
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The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of role stress (role overload, role ambiguity, and role conflict) on the frontline employees' performance. The study employs a direct survey through a self-administered questionnaire handed out to 132 employees in the restaurant business in Jakarta, Indonesia. Hierarchical Regression Analysis is used to test the hypotheses. The finding of the study shows that the role conflict and role ambiguity affects negatively to the performance, while role overload has a positive effect. The locus of control moderation role is supported in the role of role overload and role ambiguity, but not in the role conflict - performance relationship. The implication for managers is that efforts need to be made to reduce role conflict and role ambiguity because it has negative implications on employee performance. While the excess of roles perceived by employees is maintained at a moderate level to maintain employee performance.
... Muse et al. (2003) highlighted that there has been a much greater amount of empirical support for the negative linear theory, and that a number of researchers believe that the inverted-U theory has only remained largely due to its intuitive appeal. Indeed, Latour (1990) proposed that when presented with a graphical theory, scientists feel under pressure to accept the theory if they cannot provide their own counter-evidence also in the form of a graph (Corbett, 2015). ...
Technical Report
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The UK is currently facing two inter-related socio-economic challenges. One is the now well-documented ‘productivity puzzle’; the crisis of persistent low productivity growth across the economy. The other is low levels in the mental and physical health of the working population, in particular. Wellbeing has been considered as a driver of higher levels of productivity and thus a means of solving the productivity puzzle. However, the relationship between productivity growth and wellbeing is complex and involves many moderating or mediating factors. This report reviews the relationships between the different aspects of wellbeing, productivity, and productivity growth. It is the culmination of a desk-based evidence review, survey, and a mapping workshop held with experts from backgrounds including psychology, sociology, economics, and design. The focus is on wellbeing and labour productivity, although resource productivity and multi-factor productivity are also touched upon at relevant points within the report. Key findings and recommendations for further research are summarised below. Key finding 1: Wellbeing is linked to higher levels of labour productivity. • Individuals who have been diagnosed with a chronic physical health problem and those who engage in risky health behaviours (e.g. smoking, unhealthy diet, and lack of exercise) in the absence of any formal diagnosis both tend to report reduced labour productivity through presenteeism and absenteeism. • Poor mental health appears to be more strongly linked with lost productivity through presenteeism (relative to absenteeism), as people are often reluctant to disclose that they are suffering from mental health problems. • Higher levels of subjective wellbeing has been linked to greater labour productivity, and the causal nature of this link has been demonstrated in experimental studies. • High levels of stress can lead to burnout and reduced labour productivity, but training resilience has been shown to produce positive effects on wellbeing and productivity. • Case studies demonstrate that workplace wellness programmes can deliver benefits in terms of enhanced productivity, but this seems to be reliant on certain conditions being met (e.g. tailoring to the specific organisation and senior management support). Key finding 2: Certain factors may be able to explain the positive relationship between levels of wellbeing and labour productivity. • Human capital is an asset that is considered to enhance an individual’s or organisation’s productivity. At the same time it can enhance wellbeing by facilitating the satisfaction of psychological needs, greater health status and greater social mobility. • Social capital allows for voluntary cooperation and the effective sharing of human capital, thus heightening productivity. At the same time it considered to be a determinant of higher levels of wellbeing in the workplace and everyday life. • Certain environmental factors have been linked to both greater wellbeing and greater labour productivity. These include air quality, greenery and temperatures. • Information and communication technology (ICT) has been considered as a key driver of productivity growth and has the potential to support wellbeing in that it facilitates communication, autonomy, and more flexible working conditions. Key finding 3: Productivity growth may have detrimental effects on wellbeing. • Attempts to reduce costs and increase labour productivity within the healthcare sector can lead to poorer quality care being provided and thus poorer health outcomes. • The pursuit of productivity growth in the workplace can heighten a number of workplace factors such as job demands and job insecurity, both are associated with poorer wellbeing. • Although the adoption of ICT can promote productivity growth, it can also blur the boundaries between work and home life and facilitate sedentary lifestyles, hence reducing wellbeing. • Sustained productivity growth may increase carbon emissions, raise average temperatures, and deplete forms of natural capital that have been shown to be beneficial for wellbeing. We conclude that, although wellbeing may be a determinant of higher levels of productivity, the way in which we pursue productivity growth also appears to have the potential to undermine wellbeing. Our key recommendation is therefore for research that takes a critical approach to understanding how wellbeing and productivity growth may influence each other over time and across contexts. Numerous suggestions for specific areas for future research have been made throughout the review and these are summarised in Table 1. Once we have a more nuanced understanding of the relationship between these two factors we will be better able to decide upon the value we assign to productivity growth and if and how we wish to pursue it.
... Some misconceptions become engrained in academic publishing and debates. Examples include the low risk of addiction from opioids prescribed for chronic pain [1], the 'Patient Zero' supposedly responsible for the U.S. AIDS epidemic [2], the Yerkes-Dodson law [3,4], the endless behavioral loops of the digger sphex [5], the Learning Styles [6,7], the Learning Pyramid models [8,9], and the Hawthorne Effect [10]. Despite fundamental flaws, these claims have proliferated in academic publications for decades, some of them for more than a century. ...
Article
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Several uncorroborated, false, or misinterpreted conceptions have for years been widely distributed in academic publications, thus becoming scientific myths. How can such misconceptions persist and proliferate within the inimical environment of academic criticism? Examining 613 articles we demonstrate that the reception of three myth-exposing publications is skewed by an 'affirmative citation bias': The vast majority of articles citing the critical article will affirm the idea criticized. 468 affirmed the myth, 105 were neutral, while 40 took a negative stance. Once misconceptions proliferate wide and long enough, criticizing them not only becomes increasingly difficult, efforts may even contribute to the continued spreading of the myths.
... Thus, it seems that there is neither a deliberating nor a leveling-off effect of work engagement on creative behavior. This agrees with recent insights dismissing the popular Yerks-Dodson Law that stipulates that increasing effort and motivation is beneficial to performance until some optimum level is reached, after which performance will decline [55]. However, it should be noted that the lagged effect of work engagement at T1 on creative behavior at T2 is weaker than the concurrent effect at T2. ...
Article
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Most studies report a positive relationship of work engagement with health and job performance, but, occasionally, a "dark side of engagement" has also been uncovered. The current study examined two hypotheses: whether work engagement has (1) a U-shaped curvilinear relation with psychological distress and (2) an inverted U-shaped curvilinear relation with job performance (i.e., in-role performance and creative behavior). A two-wave longitudinal Internet survey with a time lag of seven months was conducted among 1,967 Japanese employees. To test our hypotheses, we used a two-wave panel design and examined the lagged and concurrent relations between work engagement and both outcomes. The results confirmed that work engagement had a curvilinear relation with psychological distress concurrently; a favorable effect was found initially, but this disappeared at intermediate levels of work engagement, and, at higher levels, an adverse effect became prominent. In addition, work engagement had a curvilinear relation with in-role performance both concurrently and longitudinally; the higher the levels of work engagement, the stronger the favorable effects on in-role performance. However, contrary to our expectations, work engagement had a linear relation with psychological distress longitudinally and with creative behavior both concurrently and longitudinally. Hence, our results suggest that work engagement plays a different role in health enhancement compared to performance enhancement. Leveling-off and adverse effects of high work engagement were observed for psychological distress in the short and not in a long run. In contrast, no leveling-off effect of high work engagement was observed for job performance. Thus, except for the short-term effect on psychological distress, no dark side of work engagement was observed for psychological distress and job performance.
... Evidence for this assumption was recently found by Srna et al. (2018), showing that positive effects of perceived multitasking on performance were mediated by increased arousal as measured with pupil dilation. Arousalat least at moderate levelshas positive effects on performance (Adler & Benbunan-Fich, 2012;Baldi & Corrado, 2005;Joëls, 2006;Yerkes & Dodson, 1908; for a discussion of the Yerkes-Dodson Law see also Corbett, 2015). This assumption is theoretically further supported by the Compensatory Control Model (Hockey, 1997) suggesting that stress leads to an increased effort to compensate possible negative effects on performance. ...
Article
Multitasking behaviour is a prevalent coping strategy to deal with stressful work-demands. There is evidence from laboratory studies that multitasking behaviour decreases performance quality and shows an inverted u-shaped relationship with performance quantity. Based on the Brixey Model of Interruption and on assumptions of the Zeigarnik Effect, we postulate that reduced flow experience mediates negative effects of multitasking behaviour on performance. To investigate this assumption, we conducted a field study (Experience Sampling Method, 60 participants, 494 points of measurements). Using multilevel analysis, we found evidence for the postulated negative linear relationship between multitasking behaviour and flow. Flow had positive effects on performance. Also as postulated, we found a negative indirect effect of multitasking behaviour via flow on performance. However, the direct effect of multitasking behaviour on performance was positive. Our study provides the first evidence that flow transmits negative effects of multitasking behaviour on performance. At the same time, and confirming earlier research, there seem to be other mechanisms (possibly increased arousal) transmitting positive effects of multitasking behaviour on performance.
... Yerkes and Dodson's model is one of the few theoretical models in psychology that attained a law-like status. However, it has also encountered criticisms, including its overly general applicability to situations and performance types to which it has been applied (see Neiss, 1988, p. 345;Hanoch and Vitouch, 2004;Corbett, 2015). Other frameworks, including learning theory, cognitive/motivation theory, and stress-coping theories (e.g., Lazarus and Folkman, 1984;Lazarus, 2000) can also be invoked to account for individual variability and changes over time regarding the effect of anxiety on performance. ...
Article
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Anxiety has long been associated with diminished performance within a number of domains involving evaluative interpersonal interactions, including Sex, Sport, and Stage. Here, we pose three questions: (1) how do these disparate fields approach and understand anxiety and performance; (2) how does the understanding of the issue within one field offer insight to another field; and (3) how could each field benefit from the ideas and strategies used by the others. We begin with a short review of models of anxiety/arousal and performance and then explore definitions, models, presumed underlying physiological processes, and characterizing and influencing factors within each domain separately in a narrative review. This discussion is followed by a synthesis that identifies elements specific to and common across the various domains, with the latter captured in a model of essential characteristics. Concluding remarks note the potential value of promoting increased cross-disciplinary conversation and research, with each domain likely benefiting from the conceptualizations and expert knowledge of the others.
... Here we point to two such factors. First heightened job demands, that result from downsizing in an attempt to cut costs (Corbett, 2015) and second, job insecurity, justified as flexible labour market policy intended to make it easier for firms to innovate (Bartelsman et al., 2016;Sverke et al., 2002). ...
Article
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Labour productivity is a key concept for understanding the way modern economies use resources and features prominently in ecological economics. Ecological economists have questioned the desirability of labour productivity growth on both environmental and social grounds. In this paper we aim to contribute to ongoing debates by focusing on the link between labour productivity and worker wellbeing. First, we review the evidence for the happy-productive worker thesis, which suggests labour productivity could be improved by increasing worker wellbeing. Second, we review the evidence on ways that productivity growth may undermine worker wellbeing. We find there is experimental evidence demonstrating a causal effect of worker wellbeing on productivity, but that the relationship can also sometimes involve resource-intensive mediators. Taken together with the evidence of a negative impact on worker wellbeing from productivity growth, we conclude that a relentless pursuit of productivity growth is potentially counterproductive, not only in terms of worker wellbeing, but even in terms of long-term productivity.
... The tertiary programs syllabus or co-curriculums should be reviewed periodically by imbued with right values and ethics, enabling undergraduates to manage their stress level and make the right choices for themselves, families and the country with a view towards enduring and overcoming life"s inevitable challenges (Ministry of Education Malaysia, 2013). The Malaysian higher education institutions could employ Public Health Model (Kohler and Munz, 2006) and Yerkes-Dodson Law (Martin, 2015) in order to implement relevant stress management programs to all the undergraduates. The stress management interventions should be customized based on the undergraduates" attitude, personalities and social culture (Kohler and Munz, 2016). ...
Article
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The aim of current paper is to investigate the relationships between academic performance, self-esteem, perceived social support and perceived stress among the undergraduates in both Malaysian public and private universities. Research data is gathered from a sample of 144 of undergraduates from public and private universities in Malaysia. Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM) is employed to examine the influences of academic performance, self-esteem, perceived social support and perceived stress among the undergraduates. The results demonstrate that self-esteem and perceived social support are viewed as potential predictors of perceived stress among undergraduates. However, there is no significant relationship between academic performance and perceived stress. Future researchers are suggested to conduct similar researches in qualitative or experimental setting in order to minimize personal bias in a longitudinal design. Current paper provides new in-depth and practical implications to all parties to pay attention in efforts to improve undergraduate’s well-being and achievement in their tertiary education stage. This paper offers new insight into the predicting factors of perceived stress among undergraduates in Malaysian context.
... Yerkes and Dodson observed the relation between the strength of stimulus and the rate of habit formation for individuals (Yerkes & Dodson, 1908). The observation was generalized into Yerkes-Dodson law, which indicates that human performance varies with stresses following an inverse U curve (Corbett, 2015). The stress, according to the Person-Environment theory of stress, is defined as "subjective appraisal indicating that supplies are insufficient to fulfil the person's needs." ...
Article
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Organizational capability is of particular importance to organizational performance. Existing research in the literature identified a wide range of factors that would contribute to organizational capability. This paper aims to establish a theoretical model that addresses the fundamental elements contributed to organizational capability. We develop an organizational capability model based on a model of individual capability proposed by Nguyen and Zeng. Organizational knowledge, skills and emotion are identified as the three elements determining the organizational capability. In the proposed model, organization is abstracted as a work-centric construct highlighting work, goal and people as the contextual factors influencing emergence of the organizational elements. These elements are explained in details focusing on their characteristics as organizational phenomena. Finally, it is briefly discussed how the proposed organizational capability model can be used for effective organization management. © 2017 - Society for Design and Process Science. All rights reserved.
... When given mild electrical shocks, the rats were more likely to complete the task than without any shocks, whereas strong electrical shocks caused the learning performance to drop. Although this observed pattern was much less consistent when tested with baby chickens (Cole, 1911) or kittens (Dodson, 1915) in two follow-up studies with the same experimental design, many studies have built on this paradigm and extended its implications about the Ushaped curve of performance to other domains such as work-related stress (for a review, see Corbett, 2015). ...
Conference Paper
This thesis investigated subjective, behavioural and neurophysiological (EEG) measures of speech processing in various adverse conditions and with different listener groups. In particular, this thesis focused on different neural processing stages and their relationship with auditory attention, effort, and measures of speech intelligibility. Study 1 set the groundwork by establishing a toolbox of various neural measures to investigate online speech processing, from the frequency following response (FFR) and cortical measures of speech processing, to the N400, a measure of lexico-semantic processing. Results showed that peripheral processing is heavily influenced by stimulus characteristics such as degradation, whereas central processing units are more closely linked to higher-order phenomena such as speech intelligibility. In Study 2, a similar experimental paradigm was used to investigate differences in neural processing between a hearing-impaired and a normal-hearing group. Subjects were presented with short stories in different levels of multi-talker babble noise, and with different settings on their hearing aids. Findings indicate that, particularly at lower noise levels, the hearing-impaired group showed much higher cortical entrainment than the normal- hearing group, despite similar levels of speech recognition. Intersubject correlation, another global neural measure of auditory attention, however, was similarly affected by noise levels in both the hearing-impaired and the normal-hearing group. This finding indicates extra processing in the hearing-impaired group only on the level of the auditory cortex. Study 3, in contrast to Studies 1 and 2 (which both investigated the effects of bottom-up factors on neural processing), examined the links between entrainment and top-down factors, specifically motivation; as well as reasons for the 5 higher entrainment found in hearing-impaired subjects in Study 2. Results indicated that, while behaviourally there was no difference between incentive and non-incentive conditions, neurophysiological measures of attention such as intersubject correlation were affected by the presence of an incentive to perform better. Moreover, using a specific degradation type resulted in subjects’ increased cortical entrainment under degraded conditions. These findings support the hypothesis that top-down factors such as motivation influence neurophysiological measures; and that higher entrainment to degraded speech might be triggered specifically by the reduced availability of spectral detail contained in speech.
... Situational stressors, whether environmental, emotional, or cognitive, increase physiological arousal to prepare the individual to adapt to the environment, and all stressor categories essentially work on the same biological systems to activate the individual for action. Theories for optimal arousal suggest that there is an individual sweet spot for every person where arousal levels matched to a task maximizes performance, and arousal levels below or above this sweet spot is an impediment to performance (Yerkes-Dodson law [19,20]). Arousal levels change with shifts in attention but are dependent on the emotional valence of stimuli [21] and optimal attention-allocation for task-related performance appears to be associated with proxies for regulation of arousal that are also associated with affective variability [22]. ...
Preprint
... Achievement motivation has become one of the essential organizational behaviors that influence job performance. Research evidence shows that within a specific range, work efficiency is enhanced with an increase in motivation intensity [10]. Numerous scholars have confirmed the role of achievement-motivation in job performance [11,12]. ...
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Background: To explore the relationship between achievement motivation and job performance among physicians, this study investigated the impacts of different personality traits on job performance among the physicians. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in 2017 and 1,523 physicians from eight tertiary grade A hospitals in Harbin, China. The type of data collected included the achievement motivation of the physicians, job performance, organizational commitment, personality traits, and other demographic variables. To assess and compare the demographic data, independent t-test and ANOVA were applied. Further, Pearson correlation coefficients were used to evaluate the correlation among the variables. Moderated mediation analysis was performed to test the correlation among the job performance, achievement motivation, organizational commitment, neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. Results: Achievement motivation directly influences job performance and organizational commitment partially mediates the direct effects of achievement motivation on job performance. Additionally, our findings demonstrated that agreeableness and conscientiousness moderate the strength of the relationships between achievement motivation and job performance mediated by organizational commitment. Conclusion: We propose that hospital managers should pay attention to the personal growth of the physicians and improve their organizational commitment via creating a positive working climate and training for career planning and education. Moreover, managers should identify conscientiousness and agreeableness individuals and increase their responsibilities geared towards improving the performance of the organization.
... Additionally, with regard to Stage performance, a moderate amount of anxiety assists performance when the anxiety is reframed as performance energy or interpreted positively [97]. Nevertheless, the Yerkes-Dodson Law encountered criticism due to its lack of detail and its overly general applicability to the myriad of situations and performance types to which it had been applied (see [121,122]). ...
Article
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Strategies for addressing anxiety-related decrements in performance have been implemented across a variety of domains, including Sex, Sport, and Stage. In this review, we (1) iterate the dominant anxiety-related remediation strategies within each of these domains; (2) identify over-lapping and domain-specific strategies; and (3) attempt to unify the conceptualization of performance-related anxiety across these three areas under the information-processing framework of the Reflective/deliberative—Impulsive/automatic Model (RIM). Despite both diversity and similarity in remediation approaches across domains, we found that many strategies appear to share the common goal of maintaining a dominant automatic style of information processing in high performance demand situations. We then describe how various remediation strategies might hypothetically fit within the RIM framework and its subcomponents, identifying each intervention as falling into one or more broad categories related to achieving and/or maintaining dominance in automatic information processing. We conclude by affirming the benefit of adopting a unifying information-processing framework for the conceptualization of performance-related anxiety, as a way of both guiding future cross- and inter- disciplinary research and elucidating effective remediation models that share common pathways/mechanisms to improved performance.
... The first stage corresponds to the construction of a stress identification model from IW data. The Yerkes-Dodson law [20] and catastrophe theory of arousal [21,22] may underpin clustering-based stress pattern recognition and subsequent analytic data labeling [23]. The Yerkes-Dodson law assumes the existence of three ranges of arousal: (1) low range of arousal, (2) middle range of arousal and (3) high range of arousal. ...
Article
Purpose The authors aim to develop a conceptual framework for longitudinal estimation of stress-related states in the wild (IW), based on the machine learning (ML) algorithms that use physiological and non-physiological bio-sensor data. Design/methodology/approach The authors propose a conceptual framework for longitudinal estimation of stress-related states consisting of four blocks: (1) identification; (2) validation; (3) measurement and (4) visualization. The authors implement each step of the proposed conceptual framework, using the example of Gaussian mixture model (GMM) and K-means algorithm. These ML algorithms are trained on the data of 18 workers from the public administration sector who wore biometric devices for about two months. Findings The authors confirm the convergent validity of a proposed conceptual framework IW. Empirical data analysis suggests that two-cluster models achieve five-fold cross-validation accuracy exceeding 70% in identifying stress. Coefficient of accuracy decreases for three-cluster models achieving around 45%. The authors conclude that identification models may serve to derive longitudinal stress-related measures. Research limitations/implications Proposed conceptual framework may guide researchers in creating validated stress-related indicators. At the same time, physiological sensing of stress through identification models is limited because of subject-specific reactions to stressors. Practical implications Longitudinal indicators on stress allow estimation of long-term impact coming from external environment on stress-related states. Such stress-related indicators can become an integral part of mobile/web/computer applications supporting stress management programs. Social implications Timely identification of excessive stress may improve individual well-being and prevent development stress-related diseases. Originality/value The study develops a novel conceptual framework for longitudinal estimation of stress-related states using physiological and non-physiological bio-sensor data, given that scientific knowledge on validated longitudinal indicators of stress is in emergent state.
... Situational stressors, whether environmental, emotional, or cognitive, increase physiological arousal to prepare the individual to adapt to the environment, and all stressor categories essentially work on the same biological systems to activate the individual for action. Theories for optimal arousal suggest that there is an individual sweet spot for every person where arousal levels matched to a task maximizes performance, and arousal levels below or above this sweet spot is an impediment to performance (Yerkes-Dodson law [19,20]). Arousal levels change with shifts in attention but are dependent on the emotional valence of stimuli [21] and optimal attention-allocation for task-related performance appears to be associated with proxies for regulation of arousal that are also associated with affective variability [22]. ...
Chapter
... Yerkes-Dodson Law has been criticized for its application in management practices as a method of managing work stress and to enhance employee performance (Corbett, 2015). However, there are areas in learning and development, particularly outdoor education that use challenging situations to encourage deep learning (Irvine & Wilson, 1994;Mortlock, 1987;Priest & Gass, 2018;Tuson, 1994). ...
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Aim During the COVID‐19 pandemic in the UK, clinical research nurses had to work in new ways and under significant pressure to generate evidence for the developing health crisis. Research nurse support needs, personal and professional challenges have not been explored. This study addresses that gap, generating learning for continued support and development of the research nurse specialty and its ability to respond to public health priorities. Design We employed a qualitative exploratory approach through online open‐ended interviews to explore research nurses’ experiences of delivering research during the pandemic using principles of Grounded Theory. Methods Fifteen research nurses in the local research taskforce were identified through purposive sampling. Qualitative interviews were conducted online between November 2020 and January 2021 and analysed using the principles of constructivist grounded theory. Results Three themes of adapting to uncertainty, inclusive leadership and finding validity in the stretch zone were generated in the analysis. Conclusion A model of inclusive leadership and support can facilitate high‐functioning performance in a research team, supporting a rapid, confident and efficient response to research needs. Impact Research nurses, a previously invisible workforce, have proved critical to the pandemic response. This study explores the experiences of a team of redeployed research nurses and develops a theory of their experience as they were undertaking the rapid delivery of urgent public health studies during COVID‐19. What was found was a process of adaptation and resilience through collaborative teamwork, a strong sense of purpose and role validation enabled by an inclusive leadership style. This work will drive future development of a model of research nursing with a focus on collaboration between research and clinical colleagues.
... Certainly the notion that stress can both impair and improve performance more generally is not at all a new idea (Corbett, 2015;Regeher et al., 2008). Indeed, at a physiological level stress and heightened cognitive activity (i.e., cognitive load) are not distinct and are simultaneously captured in variation in pupil dilation (Aminihajibashi et al., 2019;Krejtz et al., 2018). ...
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Previous research based on documented incidents of police uses of lethal force and experimental studies using computer sorting programs have demonstrated that incorrect lethal force decisions tend to occur more frequently with Black relative to White suspects. Using virtual reality, the current study examined the psychophysiology underlying incorrect lethal force decision with Black suspects, and the interactive impact of racial essentialism. Forty-nine White criminal justice majors viewed 360 degree videos of high-pressure suspect interactions in VR, from the perspective of the police officer. A virtual police-issued handgun was used to make and record decisions to shoot; incorrect uses of lethal force were operationalized using signal detection theory. Physiological stress (i.e., variance in pupil dilation) and visual attention were measured with embedded eye tracking in the VR. As predicted, physiological stress led to more incorrect uses of lethal force with Black suspects through fixated visual attention, but only among those who scored high on a racial essentialism survey measure. Findings converge with more recent studies supporting the potent interactive role between cognition (e.g., racial essentialism) and affect (i.e., stress) on lethal force decisions with Black suspects. These studies point to the continued role of psychoeducation and cognitive–behavioral interventions in informing police training interventions aimed at mitigating incorrect uses of lethal force with Black men and women.
... rough these processes, the human cognition is formed, which includes recognition, thinking, judgment, and memory [32]. e literature [33] proposed a theoretical framework to study the factors of phishing susceptibility, proposed the susceptibility of information processing to phishing emails, and explained how phishing emails affect human susceptibility. Information processing is an important aspect of cognition, through which people process and judge external stimuli to obtain information [25]. ...
Article
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While antiphishing techniques have evolved over the years, phishing remains one of the most threatening attacks on current network security. This is because phishing exploits one of the weakest links in a network system—people. The purpose of this research is to predict the possible phishing victims. In this study, we propose the multidimensional phishing susceptibility prediction model (MPSPM) to implement the prediction of user phishing susceptibility. We constructed two types of emails: legitimate emails and phishing emails. We gathered 1105 volunteers to join our experiment by recruiting volunteers. We sent these emails to volunteers and collected their demographic, personality, knowledge experience, security behavior, and cognitive processes by means of a questionnaire. We then applied 7 supervised learning methods to classify these volunteers into two categories using multidimensional features: susceptible and nonsusceptible. The experimental results indicated that some machine learning methods have high accuracy in predicting user phishing susceptibility, with a maximum accuracy rate of 89.04%. We conclude our study with a discussion of our findings and their future implications.
... This implies that arousal/stress/workload (often analogously used terms) should be calibrated to not only impair performance due to overload but also to prevent underload. While the applicability of this theory to work contexts was heavily criticized (e.g., [199]), physiological proof for it was found in humans [65]. However, Diamond et al. [65] highlighted that the law is often misunderstood and thus wrongly interpreted, since the important aspect is that the inverted U-shape form only applies to highly demanding tasks, rather than all tasks, effectively excluding easy ones that exhibit a linear ...
Thesis
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... While stress is known to be associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk [2] and negative mental health outcomes [3], it is of interest to note that stress does not affect work productivity and performance purely in a negative manner. According to the Yerkes-Dodson law (also known as the inverted U law) [4], an individual's ability to perform a task at hand is negatively affected primarily when stress levels are either too high or too low. A moderate amount of stress positively impacts how well an individual performs. ...
... Furthermore, parts of the critical literature on mental unhealth have interrogated the functionalist discourse on stress management and the allegedly positive aspects of stress, which are picked up by managers in organizations and used as a way to legitimate that stress levels are not minimised but kept at an 'optimal' level. According to Corbett (2013Corbett ( , 2015, a major problem is that empirical studies seeking to demonstrate the existence of good stress and its positive effects on performance tend to confuse terms such as stress, distress, eustress and arousal. Another problem is that some of this functionalist research continues to endorse the scientifically dubious 'Yerkes-Dodson Law' (Yerkes & Dodson, 1908). ...
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The worldwide spread of work‐related mental unhealth suggests that this is a major problem affecting organizations and employees on a global scale. In this paper, we therefore provide a thematic review of the literatures that address this issue in management and organization studies (MOS) and related fields. While these literatures examine how employee mental health is affected by organizational and occupational structures and managed by organizations and employees, they have paid relatively little attention to the capitalist labour relations which underpin the unhealthy conditions of contemporary working life. They have paid even less attention to how these conditions may be resisted. To help future scholarship in MOS challenge this state of affairs, we draw on some of the most basic but central notions of exploitation, alienation and resistance in classic and current critiques of capitalism, optimistic that this may help strengthen the field's capacity to confront mental unhealth in settings of work and organization.
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Stress is present in our everyday lives and it is considered to be the driving force of evolution. Anxiety, chronic worries and panic attacks are the most common consequences of long-term and exhausting stress. The most significant fundamental contribution that is crucial for the development of the modern concept of stress was made by Claude Bernard who proposed the theory that the body was constantly maintaining a stable and well-balanced internal environment or "milieu interieur". Maintaining the internal environment constant was defined as homeostasis by Cannon who proposed two maintenance mechanisms - through negative feedback from the autonomic nervous system and through sensory organs. Hans Selye proposed stress as non-specific strain on the body, caused by an altered body function which is followed by the release of stress hormones. He named this process the general adaptation syndrome which had three stages: alarm reaction, initial phase exhibiting "fight or flight" response; resistance, when body is getting used to being stressed, and exhaustion, when resistance to stress is gradually decreased and collapses. Hans Selye was the first to coin the term "heterostasis" representing the procedure by which a new stable state was achieved by the activation of physiological adaptive mechanisms. Lazarus highlighted emotions as an important factor in behavior in response to stress and provided a description of various reactions to stressors. He emphasized the process of cognitive assessment as a mediator in dealing with stressors - how a person imagines or evaluates an event in order to understand stress reactions in people. Eustress, considered to be positive stress leads to toned emotions, motivation and focused energy, while distress, negative stress, occurs after prolonged stress that exceeds our ability to deal with it. Distress causes anxiety or withdrawal (depression and anxiety), and is accompanied by unpleasant feelings and reduced work ability leading to mental and physical illnesses.
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Objective: To discuss a recurring education problem of the high fidelity simulation myth. In the current instantiation, educators erroneously believe that trainees benefit from authentic uncertainty and surprise in simulation-based training. We explore the origins of this myth within experiential learning and social constructivism theories and propose an evidence-based solution of transparent and guided instruction in simulation. Background: Constructivist theories highlight meaning making as the benefit of inquiry and discovery learning strategies. Inappropriate translation of this epistemology into an element of curriculum design, creates unfortunate unintended consequences. We propose that the translation of constructivist theories of learning within simulation-based education has resulted in a pervasive myth that scenarios must introduce realistic tension or surprises to encourage exploration and insightful problem solving. We argue that this myth is masquerading as experiential learning. In this narrative review, we interpret our experiences and observations of simulation-based education through our expertise in education science and curriculum design. We offer anecdotal evidence along with a review of selected literature to establish the presence of this previously undetected myth.
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In this article, I seek to improve upon a definition of pseudoscience put forward by Sven Ove Hansson. I argue that not only does its use of ‘pseudoscientific statement’ as definiendum inadequately address the theoretical issue of demarcation, it also makes the definition inapt for practical demarcation. Moreover, I argue that Hanson’s definition subsumes statements and associated practices that are forms of bad science, resulting in an unfavourably wide concept. I try to save the definition from the brunt of this critique by arguing that some pseudoscientific statements are particularly significant when demarcating a discipline as a pseudoscience.
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Despite recent developments in the field of human–animal studies and a surge of growth in scholarship in this area, organisational theory has been accused of facilitating the “virtual exclusion” of the non-human animal. This article attempts to address this through its investigation of the non-human in the business and management literature within an ethic of care framework. It accomplishes this through a bibliometric review of the articles available in the Social Sciences Citation Index. The focus of investigation is the nature of the human–animal relationship within the articles. It is hoped that this framework will assist scholars in attempts to increase the visibility of animals within our organisations and enhance their moral consideration, as well as facilitate the review of other literatures relating to the marginalised within our organisations.
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Recent controversies in psychology have spurred conversations about the nature and quality of psychological research. One topic receiving substantial attention is the role of replication in psychological science. Using the complete publication history of the 100 psychology journals with the highest 5-year impact factors, the current article provides an overview of replications in psychological research since 1900. This investigation revealed that roughly 1.6% of all psychology publications used the term replication in text. A more thorough analysis of 500 randomly selected articles revealed that only 68% of articles using the term replication were actual replications, resulting in an overall replication rate of 1.07%. Contrary to previous findings in other fields, this study found that the majority of replications in psychology journals reported similar findings to their original studies (i.e., they were successful replications). However, replications were significantly less likely to be successful when there was no overlap in authorship between the original and replicating articles. Moreover, despite numerous systemic biases, the rate at which replications are being published has increased in recent decades. © The Author(s) 2012.
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The paper traces the vicissitudes of the Yerkes-Dodson law from 1908 to the present. In its original form, the law was intended to describe the relation between stimulus strength and habit-formation for tasks varying in discrimination difficultness. But later generations of investigations and textbook authors have rendered it variously as the effects of punishment, reward, motivation, drive, arousal, anxiety, tension or stress upon learning, performance, problem-solving, coping or memory; while the task variable has been commonly referred to as difficulty, complexity or novelty, when it is not omitted altogether. These changes are seldom explicitly discussed, and are often misattributed to Yerkes and Dodson themselves. The various reformulations are seen as reflecting conceptual changes and current developments in the areas of learning, motivation and emotion, and it is argued that the plasticity of the law also reflects the vagueness of basic psychological concepts in these areas.
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Replication is one of the most important tools for the verification of facts within the empirical sciences. A detailed examination of the notion of replication reveals that there are many different meanings to this concept and the relevant procedures, but hardly any systematic literature. This paper analyzes the concept of replication from a theoretical point of view. It demonstrates that the theoretical demands are scarcely met in everyday work within the social sciences. Some demands are just not feasible, whereas others are constricted by restrictions relating to publication. A new classification scheme based on a functional approach that distinguishes between different types of replication is proposed. Next, it will be argued that replication addresses the important connection between existing and new knowledge. To do so it has to be applied explicitly and systematically. The paper ends with a description of procedures how this could be done and a set of recommendations how to handle the concept of replication in the future to exploit its potential to the full. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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The Yerkes-Dodson relationship is one of the oldest 'laws' behavioral research. It is used repeatedly as an explanation for stress effects on performance and is a fixture of undergraduate psychological texts. However, as is the case of most classics, it is more cited than read. In actuality, Yerkes and Dodson's report dealt with animal learning under states of compulsion and is only tangentially related to human performance in stress filled conditions. Our re-evaluation is motivated by two primary circumstances. The first is the evident failure of the unitary arousal notion, which has commonly been invoked as the causal source to explain the Yerkes-Dodson, inverted-U relationship. The second relates to criticisms of the curvilinear description itself and its interpretations, which we present here. Together, these concerns demand not simply a re-evaluation, but a replacement of this over-simplistic and fundamentally flawed proposition. In repealing this 'law,' we offer a more sophisticated and hopefully more veridical representation, which is given primarily in the following reprinted article of Hancock and Warm (1989). This approach posits an 'extended-U' description founded upon attention and adaptability as central mechanisms of response.
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It is held that many of the current problems in the field of motivation arise from the acceptance of a conceptual nervous system of an earlier day. To develop this thesis, the author examines the concept of motivation as it relates to the conceptual nervous systems of the period before 1930, of the period 10 years ago, and of today. It is shown that today's physiology provides common ground for communication among the differing conceptions of motivation. 51 references. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
Article
The literature indicates that dysfunctional individual and organizational consequences result from the existence of role conflict and role ambiguity in complex organizations. Yet, systematic measurement and empirical testing of these role constructs is lacking. This study describes the development and testing of questionnaire measures of role conflict and ambiguity. Analyses of responses of managers show these two constructs to be factorially identifiable and independent. Derived measures of role conflict and ambiguity tend to correlate in two samples in expected directions with measures of organizational and managerial practices and leader behavior, and with member satisfaction, anxiety, and propensity to leave the organization.
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This study examines the role of downsizing in the deinstitutionalization of permanent employment among publicly listed companies in Japan between 1990 and 1997. We found that although economic pressure triggered downsizing, social and institutional pressures shaped the pace and process by which downsizing spread. Large, old, wholly domestically owned, and high-reputation Japanese firms were resistant to downsizing at first, as were firms with high levels of human capital, as reflected by high wages, but these social and institutional pressures diminished as downsizing spread across the population. We argue that this breakdown of social constraints was due to a safety-in-numbers effect: as downsizing became more prominent, the actions of any single firm were less likely to be noticed and criticized, and the effect of the institutional factors that once constrained downsizing diminished.
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This article presents evidence that published results of scientific investigations are not a representative sample of results of all scientific studies. Research studies from 11 major journals demonstrate the existence of biases that favor studies that observe effects that, on statistical evaluation, have a low probability of erroneously rejecting the so-called null hypothesis (H0). This practice makes the probability of erroneously rejecting H0 different for the reader than for the investigator. It introduces two biases in the interpretation of the scientific literature: one due to multiple repetition of studies with false hypothesis, and one due to failure to publish smaller and less significant outcomes of tests of a true hypotheses. These practices distort the results of literature surveys and of meta-analyses. These results also indicate that practice leading to publication bias have not changed over a period of 30 years.
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We examine the concepts of stress, distress, and eustress and develop three tenets that are used to relate these concepts to three major theories or models of occupational stress. Selye's concept of eustress or "good stress" appears to be largely ignored in the literature, while the Yerkes Dodson Law is illustrated as a model for management practice. We suggest that the meaning assigned to the word stress has shifted from Selye's original formulation, and that this shift, in conjunction with the use of the Yerkes Dodson Law leads to inappropriate management of stress in organizations. We conclude that the concept that some stress is good and enhances performance should be rejected in favour of more useful and accurate concepts.
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Each of the 18 human subjects was given one trial in running a stylus maze for each of three intensities of shock. One trial was given without shock. The authors wished to discover "whether learning and efficiency are affected in a similar manner under like intensities of punishment." Time and errors were automatically recorded. The results showed that an increase in the intensity of the punishment reduced the average reaction time, i.e., of withdrawal from the cul-de-sac. The authors attribute this result to an increased degree of "attention" with an increase in the intensity of the punishing factor. They say, "an increase in the intensity of punishment created a readiness and an eagerness to react that was not typical for the preceding intensity." Increases in the intensity of punishment, however, were generally accompanied by an increased number of entrances into blind alleys. There were a few exceptions but, "the records in general indicate that learning progresses more slowly as the intensity of the punishment for errors becomes greater." Increased time with an increase in the intensity of punishment was also noticeable. However, a few subjects required less time with a high degree of punishment than with a low degree of punishment. The authors conclude that "the span of attention for any motivating condition is fully as important as the motivating condition in determining the character of the response." (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Studied the relation of strength of stimulus, to rapidity of learning in 18 kittens. The kittens had to discriminate between the light-dark boxes. The experiment box was divided into a nest box, an entrance chamber and 2 electric boxes. The electric boxes were placed in the circuit of a constant electric current. The kittens received electric shock in these boxes. The results indicate that: (1) it took less number of trials to perfect a correct habit with a strong stimulus than with a medium stimulus, under conditions of learning of varying difficulty (2) the relation of the painfulness of the electric stimulus to the rapidity of habit formation depended upon the difficulty of the visual discrimination, and (3) the discrimination was difficult to make when the difference between the unpleasant and the very unpleasant stimuli was not marked. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Investigated the ability of chicks to make an easy, medium, and a difficult discrimination, under varying strengths of stimulus. A series of experiments, involving 68 barred Plymouth Rock chicks, was carried out. The chicks were given a preliminary training to familiarize them with the apparatus. The apparatus comprised 3 divisions or boxes: the hover box, the illumination box, and the experiment box. It was found that under the condition of easy and medium discrimination, the rate of learning was more rapid the stronger the stimulus. Under the conditions of difficult discrimination, the chicks which were most sensitive to the electric stimulus, and learned most rapidly under the influence of weak stimuli. The results have been compared with those of R. M. Yerkes and J. D. Dodson (1908), who worked with mice. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Throughout the preparation of this volume I have been guided by a central purpose rather than by any fixed and predetermined point of view. This purpose is to examine the determination of human and animal behavior in its varied aspects. From one standpoint the study of motivation is concerned with energetics, i.e., with those conditions which evoke specific bodily movements and which regulate the general level of activity. From another standpoint the study is an investigation of the factors which regulate and control the course of activity. This includes all those activities designated by psychologists as purposive behavior. From still another point of view our problem relates to the development of motivating factors: it is a genetic study of the change and interplay of interests, desires, habit organizations, and similar determiners of behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Tested an extension of the inverted-–U curve hypothesis by defining low, moderate, and high arousal levels as an athlete's lowest, median, and highest pregame state anxiety values across 3 games of a basketball tournament. Performance was measured by a game statistics composite (PER) and by total points (TP) in each game. Ss were 30 female university varsity basketball starters from 6 teams. They were trichotomized on competitive trait anxiety (A-trait), and a 3 by 3 ANOVA with repeated measures on A-state categories was used. Ss were administered the Sport Competition Anxiety Test before a practice session and the Competitive State Anxiety Inventory 20–30 min before each game. Significant A-state effects were found for both PER and TP. Although A-trait predicted absolute A-state levels extremely well, it failed to achieve a significant relationship with performance. When intra-S T-scores for PER and TP were regressed separately on intra-S A-state T-scores, the relationship of variables consisted essentially of a quadratic function that explained 18.4 and 16.9% of within-S variance for PER and TP, respectively. High A-state scores were associated with poorest performances in all 3 trait groups, but plotting performance T-scores across A-state categories indicated this effect to be particularly pronounced in high-competitive trait-anxious Ss. (17 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Reviews the literature on the Yerkes-Dodson law, showing that the efforts to replicate the experiment on habit-formation in mice conducted by R. M. Yerkes and J. D. Dodson (1908) or to otherwise verify the law have led in most cases to negative results. Additionally, some experiments or observations that seemed to prove the law are not convincing by methodological reasons, and this is also true for the original Yerkes-Dodson experiment. Thus, no less than 85 yrs after the Yerkes-Dodson experiment, it seems necessary to replicate their original experiment under very controlled conditions. (Slovak abstract) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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It has been claimed that most research findings are false, and it is known that large-scale studies involving omics data are especially prone to errors in design, execution, and analysis. The situation is alarming because taxpayer dollars fund a substantial amount of biomedical research, and because the publication of a research article that is later determined to be flawed can erode the credibility of an entire field, resulting in a severe and negative impact for years to come. Here, we urge the development of an online, open-access, postpublication, peer review system that will increase the accountability of scientists for the quality of their research and the ability of readers to distinguish good from sloppy science.
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This commentary was distributed at the Mexico City meeting of the Strategic Management Society, and forms the basis for the Call for Papers made for the 1996 SMS meeting to be held in Phoenix, Arizona, USA, November 10–13, 1996 at The Pointe Hilton Resort. The Editors of the SMJ thought it worth drawing to our readers' attention and offer it here as an interesting perspective on our field, the issues it now faces, and by implication, what research and practice must confront over the years ahead.
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This research examined linkages between mentor leadership behaviors (laissez-faire, transactional contingent reward, and transformational), protégé perception of mentoring functions received (career development and psychosocial support) and job-related stress of 204 mentor–protégé dyads. Results of Partial Least Squares analysis revealed that mentor transformational behavior was more positively related to mentoring functions received than transactional contingent reward behavior, while mentor laissez-faire behavior was negatively related to mentoring functions received. Both mentor transformational behavior and mentoring functions received were negatively related to protégé job-related stress. The relationship between mentor transformational behavior and protégé job-related stress was moderated by the level of mentoring functions received. Results are discussed as they relate to researchers and practitioners who are becoming interested in finding ways to develop organizational members and allay job-related stress. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Executive Overview The Toyota Production System (TPS) has been lauded as the pinnacle of flexible, just-in-time manufacturing and design and the founder of "lean work" systems, which claim to improve product quality and employee productivity. American automobile manufacturers readily adopted the "Toyota Way" and many of the man-agement practices in service industries, such as Total Quality Management (TQM) are biased on its fundamental principles. The author of this paper, Darius Mehri, is an American-born computer simulation engineer who worked in a Toyota group company for three years, observing this system firsthand and conducting his own qualitative research on what he considers the true impact of lean work: the human cost. As a participant observer who was inculcated in Japanese social and workplace culture, Mehri takes an examination of TPS well beyond what many studies American and European scholars have been able to go. His assessment is guided by a distinction which is fundamental to understanding Japanese culture and business: tatemae (what you are supposed to feel or do) and honne (what you actually feel or do). Mehri believes that international enthusiasm for the Toyota Production System results from western observers' failure to discern the honne within the tatemae. He lifts the curtain of formality and messages from management at Toyota—the tatemae—that obscures the realities— the honne— of the Toyota Way: limited potential for creativity and innovation, narrow professional skills, worker isolation and harassment, dangerous conditions on the production line, accident cover-ups, excessive overtime, and poor quality of life for workers.
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The adaptation of lean techniques in public services is viewed as an innovative managerialist response to government demands for more efficient services amidst large reductions in public spending. This paper explores workers' experiences of the impact of lean on work organisation and control and provides new insights into developments within contemporary back office clerical work.
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This paper provides a historical analysis of the changing significance of the most influential statement ever made on inequality and development—Simon Kuznets’s “inverted U-curve hypothesis.” The shifting interpretations and appropriations of the hypothesis over time—from its status as a speculative supposition in 1955, to its rise and fall as a reified socioeconomic law, to its contested standing in the social sciences today—demonstrate how Kuznets’s arguments, originally advanced under more limited conditions, became transformed into overarching theoretical, empirical, and political constructions. This history suggests that even empirically grounded and testable social science models are contingent on the broader social and political contexts in which they are produced and negotiated.
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In the wake of high-profile controversies, psychologists are facing up to problems with replication.
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his paper seeks to map a decade of organizational downsizing in Australia utilizing a comprehensive longitudinal data set of 4153 firms. Aggregate downsizing measures conceal extensive change within organizations. We seek to assess these processes by comparing a conventional downsizing measure with more specific occupational downsizing measures. The results show the contours of change in Australia over the 1990s; indicate that there are distinctive and contrasting trends; and raise significant issues for future theoretical and empirical research.
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"This volume presents an attempt to construct a unified cognitive theory of science in relatively short compass. It confronts the strong program in sociology of science and the positions of various postpositivist philosophers of science, developing significant alternatives to each in a reeadily comprehensible sytle. It draws loosely on recent developments in cognitive science, without burdening the argument with detailed results from that source. . . . The book is thus a provocative one. Perhaps that is a measure of its value: it will lead scholars and serious student from a number of science studies disciplines into continued and sharpened debate over fundamental questions."âRichard Burian, Isis "The writing is delightfully clear and accessible. On balance, few books advance our subject as well."âPaul Teller, Philosophy of Science
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Examined relationships among stress, coping behaviors, and performance for 93 owner-managers of small businesses damaged by hurricane floods. It was hypothesized that (a) perceived stress and performance display an inverted-U relationship, and (b) emotional coping mechanisms increase under higher stress. Ss were interviewed regarding their handling of critical incidents under stress and completed a subjective stress scale by H. H. Kerle and H. M. Bialek (1958). Type of recovery effort following the flood was recorded, organizational performance was rated on a 5-point scale, and final loss data were acquired. Perceived stress and organization performance displayed a curvilinear, nearly inverted-U relationship. Actual financial loss (or stress level) did not account for performance differences. Problem-solving coping behaviors revealed an inverted-U relationship with perceived stress, while emotional coping behaviors displayed a positive linear relationship. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This review of research dealing with psychologically induced arousal and motor performance focuses on the hypothesized inverted-U function relating arousal to performance. The inverted-U hypothesis is supported only in a weak and psychologically trivial fashion. More useful research in human motor performance would investigate discrete psychobiological states, which include affect and cognition as well as physiology. Examination of profound individual differences in response to incentive and threat suggests that psychobiological states have their genesis in response expectancies and hypnotic-like self-inductions. The cognitive and affective components of these states are highly interactive and perhaps not profitably separated. Because performance anxiety is a central problem in the motor realm, it is carefully delineated and the test anxiety literature is scrutinized. Psychophysiological test batteries and other investigations in the area are described, and guidelines for future research are provided. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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There is a flaw In the evidence for the Yerkes-Dodson Law. To call it “ubiquitous” Is pretty iniquitous.