Stress and Human Performance

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

( 1969) experiment that demonstrated that training under one type of stressor generalized to performance of the same task under a different stressor type.

The questions concerning the generalizability of stress training have to be investigated thoroughly. The answers to these questions carry important implications regarding the practicality of stress training. Clearly, the cost of training might prove prohibitive if research showed that the effectiveness of stress training is limited to specific stressor-task combinations.

We subtitled this chapter "Queries, Dilemmas, and Possible Solutions." The choice of terms was meant to indicate that in the area of stress training the number of clear questions exceeds by far that of definitive answers. Many of these questions are centuries-old and many have yet to be answered. It is reasonable to assume that individuals and organizations that are involved in stress training have developed important insights over the years. However, this knowledge remains widely dispersed, and rarely is there an opportunity to evaluate and to integrate it. Much also needs to be done to increase the depth and scope of systematic, controlled research.

The need for answers becomes more pressing with the increasing rate of technological change. The combat soldier will face more lethal weapons while having to exercise more complex skills. New technologies will provide commanders with better intelligence for their decisions, but they might also paralyze them with information overload.

Technological change will also have a marked effect on the training environment. Most notably, new technologies will produce more faithful and more realistic simulations of criterion situations. These create new opportunities for the trainer. However, one should not overlook the fact that the higher the realism of the simulation, the greater its specificity; hence, improved realism could result in lower generalizability and hampered transfer of training.

Technological development and change will not produce answers to old questions. They will just create new questions and will heighten the importance of finding answers to the old ones.


REFERENCES

Auerbach S. M., Martelli M. F., & Mercuri L. G. ( 1983). Anxiety, information, interpersonal impacts, and adjustment to a stressful health care situation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 1284-1296.

Averill J., & Rosen M. ( 1972). Vigilant and nonvigilant coping strategies and psychophysiological stress reactions during anticipation of electric shock. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 23, 128-141.

Berlyne D. E. ( 1960). Conflict, curiosity and arousal. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Breznitz S. ( 1989). Information induced stress in humans. In S. Breznitz & O. Zinder (Eds.), Molecular biology of stress (pp. 253-264). New York: Liss.

Burton D. ( 1990). Multimodal stress management in sport: Current status and future directions. In J. G. Jones & L. Hardy (Eds.), Stress and performance in sport (pp. 171-201). New York: Wiley.

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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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