Inverted Images Effectillusion See Appendix A


INVERTED-U HYPOTHESIS. This hypothesis, also known as the Yerkes-Dodson law, refers to the results observed in a situation where performance on a task (e.g., taking a test) is seen as a function of one's arousal level (e.g., degree of motivation or anxiety), and where behavior is optimal at moderate levels but drops off with either decreases or increases in the individual's arousal level. When graphed, the distribution of potential results under such circumstances appears to be a curve in the shape of an upside down (inverted) letter U. Because the phenomenon described by the inverted-U relationship - in this case between performance and arousal level - may be categorized as either a law or a hypothesis, a semantic/labeling/identity problem arises and becomes a decision for the reader or researcher to make concerning the scientific validity and/or utility of the hypothesis (or law). See also AROUSAL THEORY; CATASTROPHE THEORY/MODEL; REINFORCEMENT THEORY; YERKES-DOD-SON LAW. REFERENCE

Naatanen, R. (1973). The inverted-U relationship between activation and performance: A critical review. In S. Kornblum (Ed.), Attention and performance. IV. New York: Academic Press.

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Eliminating Stress and Anxiety From Your Life

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