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CPL » Human Factors » Stress Management

34.38 Stress Management

34.38.2 Describe a simple model of stress.

Stress vs Performance Curve

Moderate stress is a stimulus that enhances energy, awareness and perhaps motivation to succeed, and tends to positively affect performance.

As stress levels increase past the 'Peak Performance' point, performance begins to decrease dramatically.

A low level of arousal (too little stress) has a similar effect of a reduced performance level.

The 'Peak Performance' point varies between individuals.

The ability to cope with stress also changes during the course of a person's life.


34.38.4 Explain the relationship between stress and arousal.

Both under and over arousal states result in stress. 

The optimum level of arousal in terms of performance is the moderate region, as shown in the curve above.  However the optimum level will vary according to the complexity of the task. 

The more complex the task, the lower the optimum level of arousal. 

The performance of simple, often repeated tasks is unlikely to be affected by a high arousal state, but hand and eye co-ordination will be impaired. 

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