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Overview

Yerkes–Dodson law


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The proposition that optimal task performance occurs at an intermediate level of arousal, with relatively poorer performance at both lower and higher arousal levels, leading to an inverted U relation between arousal and performance. It is often accompanied by the proposition that the peak occurs at a lower level of arousal for easy than for difficult tasks. YDL abbrev. [Named after the US psychologists Robert Mearns Yerkes (1876–1956) and John Dillingham Dodson (1879–1955) who published an article in the Journal of Comparative Neurology and Psychology in 1908 on the ‘Relation of Strength of Stimulus to Rapidity of Habit-formation’, though they did not enunciate the law explicitly or attempt to test it directly]


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