YAVIS-HOUND PHENOMENA/ SYNDROMES. The American psychotherapist William Schofield (1921- ) suggests that the acronym YAVIS embodies the personal qualities that therapists, counselors, and the American general public find most appealing in patients, clients, associates, and other individuals. YAVIS refers to the attributes of young, attractive, verbal, intelligent, and successful. On the other hand, the acronym HOUND embodies personality characteristics that therapists, counselors, and the American general public find least appealing in patients, clients, associates, and other individuals. HOUND refers to the qualities of humble, old, unattractive, nonverbal, and dumb. See also PERSONALITY THEORIES. REFERENCE

Schofield, W. (1964/1986). Psychotherapy: The purchase of friendship. En-glewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall/ New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

YERKES-DODSON LAW. This principle is a statement of the relationship between arousal level and quality of performance formulated in 1908 by the American comparative psychologists Robert Means Yerkes (18761956) and John Dillingham Dodson (dates unknown). The Yerkes-Dodson law, also called the inverted-U hypothesis, indicates that there is an optimal level of arousal (e.g., motivation, anxiety) for tasks where moderate levels of arousal facilitate problem solving, but if stress or anxiety is too high (or too low), the person does not process the important and relevant cues (or ignores them), and optimal learning and performance fail to occur. Thus, the Yerkes-Dodson law states that increased drive will improve performance up to a point, beyond which there is deterioration of performance. However, the law may need to be qualified by various factors, one of which is task "complexity." That is, the complexity of the task to be performed may need to be ex amined and controlled wherein the optimal level of motivation should be higher for a simple task than it is for a complex task. For example, solving difficult mathematical problems within a time limit (a complex task) may be best accomplished by only a slight level of arousal instead of being highly aroused or excited. On the other hand, sorting and re-shelving library books all day (a simple task) may best be done by creating a high level of motivation in the person. On the whole, the Yerkes-Dodson law seems reasonable and useful, but it has received only mixed support from psychologists. See also ACTIVATION/ AROUSAL THEORY; INVERTED-U HYPOTHESIS.

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