The Inverted-U Theory | Yerkes-Dodson Law

According to the Inverted U Hypothesis, best performance occurs at a medium degree of arousal, but both low and high levels of arousal hinder performance.

This hypothesis is based on the Yerkes-Dodson rule, which predicts an inverted U-shaped relationship between arousal and performance (named for the researchers who found it) (Yerkes, Dodson, 1908).

In sports, this indicates that a little excitement and tension connected with competition can be beneficial, but an overly intense environment can be harmful. The optimum degrees of arousal, on the other hand, differ amongst persons performing the same activity.

Furthermore, appropriate degrees of arousal for the same person performing different tasks may change. However, it is reasonable to anticipate athletes to perform poorly if they are over-or under-aroused. Furthermore, for more difficult activities, the optimal arousal levels are lower.
The Inverted U Hypothesis is an intriguing explanation for poor performance.

the inverted-u theory | yerkes-dodson law
The Inverted-U Theory | Yerkes-Dodson Law 1

What is the inverted U theory of stress?

The Yerkes-Dodson law is a model of the stress-task performance connection.

It claims that an intermediate degree of stress, or arousal, is required to achieve optimal performance. Arousal levels that are either low or too high have a negative impact on performance.

The inverted-U model of arousal is another name for it. The hypothesis dates back to 1908 when psychologists Robert Yerkes and John Dillingham Dodson conducted mouse studies. Although Yerkes-Dodson is referred to as a law, it is more of a psychological notion than a scientific law.

What is the meaning of the inverted U when taking part in the competition?

In other words, the inverted-U predicts a positive impact of growing rivalry on innovation effort if the initial degree of competition is low. Increased competition, on the other hand, decreases the incentives for innovation at high levels of early rivalry.

Apart from its technical complexity, the nonlinear model has a lot of intuitive appeal, not least because it can reconcile both Arrow and Schumpeter’s arguments.

the inverted-u theory  yerkes-dodson law
The Inverted-U Theory | Yerkes-Dodson Law 2

What is the optimal level of stress?

Stress at the right amount can help you generate the energy you need to prepare and give a lively presentation, but too much might make it difficult to concentrate and recall what you want to say. We require exactly the perfect amount of energy to perform at our best.

The optimal quantity for peak performance varies from person to person and with time for each person. Depending on the work, the optimum level changes as well. You can typically manage with a wider variety of arousal levels when working on relatively easy tasks. Even for jobs demanding a limited focus or stamina, pressure can be beneficial.

Which level of stress spectrum is responsible for peak performance?

According to the Yerkes-Dodson law, peak performance occurs at a level of arousal that is roughly in the center of the range. A bell curve can be used to describe this phenomenon. According to the rule, how well you do at a task increases with your arousal until it reaches a particular point, after which it begins to decline as arousal diminishes.

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