Stress and Human Performance

By James E. Driskell; Eduardo Salas | Go to book overview

in new ideas and experiences. Conscientiousness reflects a subtle, but essential syndrome. Effective personnel are risk takers who like excitement; nevertheless, they are cautious, careful, attentive to detail, and not impulsive. Emotional stability is important not because it entails psychopathology at the extremes, but because, under stress, maladaptive or inflexible behavior (personality disorders) can emerge and can result in disastrous job performance. Many of the critical incidents cited by Dunnette et al. ( 1981) concern employees with personality disorders.

So much for the academic view of personnel selection for hazardous work. What is the advice from the field? Consider the following New York Times report from Kuwait City, October 15, 1992 on the "sappers" responsible for deactivating land mines and munitions left behind by retreating Iraqi troops: About a third of the 100,000 or so tons of munitions dropped by the allies over Kuwait never exploded, either because they were duds or were swallowed by the sand. When sappers try to deactivate some of these devices, like the V-69 antipersonnel mine, a spike cone that shoots out trip wires and jumps to waist level before exploding, they have to get down on their stomachs and delicately maneuver a pin into the works. The men, who earn about $90,000 a year, say the best attributes for the work are cool nerves and a nimble step. ( Hedges, 1992, p. A4)


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

We wish to thank Mary Ellen O'Connor and Darryl Stark for their helpful comments on various parts of the manuscript.


REFERENCES

Allport O. W., & Odbert H. S. ( 1936). "Trait-names: A psycho-lexical study". Psychological Monographs, 47, ( 1, Whole No. 211).

American Psychiatric Association. ( 1987). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders ( 3rd ed., rev.). Washington, DC: Author.

Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-336, 104 Stat. 327 ( 1990).

Arvey R. D, Landon T E., Nutting S. M., & Maxwell S. E. ( 1992). "The development of physical ability tests for police officers: A construct validation approach". Journal of Applied Psychology, 77, 996-1009.

Barrick M. R., & Mount M. K. ( 1991). "The Big Five personality dimensions and job performance: A meta-analysis". Personnel Psychology, 44, 1-26.

Bentall R. H. C. ( 1990). "Electromagnetic energy: A historical therapeutic perspective; its future". In M. E. O'Connor, R. H. C. Bentall, & J. C. Monahan (Eds.), Emerging electromagnetic medicine (pp. 1-17). New York: Springer-Verlag.

Biersner R. J., Dembert M. L., & Browning M. D. ( 1980). "Comparisons of performance effectiveness among divers". Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 51, 1193-1196.

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Stress and Human Performance
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Series in Applied Psychology ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword vii
  • Preface ix
  • List of Contributors xiii
  • Introduction - The Study Of Stress and Human Performance 1
  • References 37
  • 1 - Stress Effects 47
  • Acknowledgements 84
  • 3 - Stress and Military Performance 89
  • Acknowledgments 116
  • 4 - Stress and Aircrew Performance: A Team-Level Perspective 127
  • Epilogue 159
  • Epilogue 160
  • 5 - Moderating the Performance Effects of Stressors 163
  • References 189
  • II - Interventions: Selection, Training, and System Design 193
  • 6 - Selection of Personnel for Hazardous Performance 195
  • Acknowledgement 219
  • 7 - Training for Stress Exposure 223
  • 8 - Training Effective Performance Under Stress: Queries, Dilemmas, and Possible Solutions 257
  • References 273
  • 9 - Designing for Stress 279
  • Author Index 297
  • Subject Index 311
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