Affect and Performance on Cognitive Task as a Function of Crowding and Noise:
Sixty undergraduate males participated in an experiment with a 2 × 3 factorial design involving two levels of density and three levels of noise to demonstrate effects of the independent variables (density, noise) on cognitive task performance and affect. As predicted, it was found that crowding and noise lead to deterioration of subject's performance on cognitively complex tasks but not on simple (cognitive) task. Also, density and noise generated a negative feeling in the subjects. Significant two-way interaction for complex task, showed variation in performance of S s of high and low density under low and high noise conditions. In addition, crowded-condition subjects reported more dissatisfaction about their performance and evaluated the presence of the experimenter as significantly less pleasant than their noncrowded-condition counterparts.
examined how a major med school exam affects stress hormone levels, the immune system and lung function among students with and without allergies.
Twenty-two students with hay fever and/or asthma and 19 healthy students took the test.
Mental stress that students experience while studying for their exams may affect their immune defense system, making them more prone to colds and the influenza virus, other effects may include aches, irritability in bowel movements, fatigue and insomnia.
Conditions are even worse if they have an allergy
study also showed that blood concentrations of a group of inflammation products called cytokines had changed and shifted against a pattern associated with allergic inflammation in students with allergies, but remained normal in healthy students.
Stress Worsens Allergies (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 2008)
A new study is proving that there is a link between how bad your allergies are, and how much stress you're under.
Studying the effect of stress on performance and judgment, Dorner and Pfeifer subjected 40 subjects to a computerized forest fire fighting game. Half of the subjects were placed under conditions of stress (a disturbing noise) and the others were left to focus on their task. The exercise involved varying levels of difficulty and lasted five hours. The researchers found that subjects under stress performed equally to those not stressed, but their problem solving patterns were different. Stressed subjects focused on the general outline of the problem, while non-stressed individuals relied on in-depth analysis. Consequently, stressed subjects made fewer errors in setting priorities whilst on-stressed subjects controlled their fire fighting operations better.
Dorner, D. and Pfeifer, F. (1993) .Strategic thinking and stress., Ergonomics Vol. 36, No. 11, pp.1345.1360.
Nonverbal Indicators: defensive body posturing (e.g, leaning away, crossing arms/legs, reduced eye contact and greater automanupilative behaviours such as fidgeting with clothes, and stereotyped objective play (e.g., tapping pen).
Characterized by intensity, frequency, periodicity, and duration
Unpredictable noise exposure increases catecholamine, blood pressure and increases heart rate and skin conductance.
Noise may produce both decrements in some tasks and enhanced performance on others.
Loss of altruistic behaviour and increased aggression and hostility under extreme noise.
The Effects of Noise on Preschool children’s reading skills. Maxwell & Evans (2000)
The study examined the relation between exposure to chronic noise and pre-reading skills in pre-school-aged children.
The study was conducted in a child care center located in a small town. Children were divided in groups of a quiet class room or a noisy classroom
In the noisy class situation, noise levels were generated by people within the building and a consequence of poor acoustical design.
Children performed better in the quieter condition on the cognitive measure of pre-reading skills requiring recognition of numbers, letters, and simple words.
The Effect of Elevated Train Noise on Reading Ability. Bronzaft & McCarthy (1975)
Classrooms of public school students were either located on the east side of the building which was very noisy due to a railway track nearby (approximately 80 trains passed by on a weekday from 9-3), or they were put in a much quieter classroom on the other side of the building.
Students on the noisy side of the school building did more poorly on the achievement tests than those on the quiet side of the building, they also had a much harder time concentrating in class and appeared to be inattentive.
Work-related stress has a direct bearing on the current and long-term productivity of Canadian workers in terms of reduced work activities, disability days and absenteeism.
High self-perceived work stress was strongly related to taking disability days. Almost one in five men and women who perceived their regular work days to be stressful took at least one disability day during the two weeks prior to the survey.
"Stress can infect and affect the physical, emotional, social, intellectual and academic well-being of children. It can interfere with their motivation, attention, perception, memory and the entire learning process," says Dr. Harold Minden, a psychology professor and expert on stress at York University.
YouTube - Psychology students tackle real-world issues.mht
Change the way you see your situation; seek alternative viewpoints Stress is a reaction to events and problems, and you can lock yourself in to one way of viewing your situation. Seek an outside perspective of the situation, compare it with yours. and perhaps lessen your reaction to these conditions.
Avoid extreme reactions; Why hate when a little dislike will do? Why generate anxiety when you can be nervous? Why rage when anger will do the job? Why be depressed when you can just be sad?
Do something for others to help get your mind off your self Get enough sleep Lack of rest just aggravates stress.
Work off stress with physical activity, whether it's jogging, tennis, gardening.
Avoid self-medication or escape Alcohol and drugs can mask stress. They don't help deal with the problems
AND MOST IMPOTANTLY:
Try to be positive! Give yourself messages as to how well you can cope rather than how horrible everything is going to be. "Stress can actually help memory, provided it is short-term and not too severe. Stress causes more glucose to be delivered to the brain, which makes more energy available to neurons. This, in turn, enhances memory formation and retrieval. On the other hand, if stress is prolonged, it can impede the glucose delivery and disrupt memory