The Effect of Skill on Performance Under an Environmental Stressor


Citation:
Hancock, P.A. (1986). The effect of skill on performance under an environmental stressor. Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 57, 59-64.

Abstract:
The effect of skill on performance under an environmental stressor. Aviat. Space Environ. Med. 1986; 57:59-64.
This paper examines the effect of individual skill level upon task performance in transient extreme heat. A summary of published data suggests that individuals who are skillful at the task are better able to withstand the detrimental effect of the stress exposure than their unskilled counterparts. Three theoretical explanations of such performances superiority are reviewed: behavioural arousal; attentional capacity; and automatic and controlled processing. It is concluded that the automatic and controlled information processing approach holds the greatest potential to account for this effect at teh present time. It is suggested that the ability of skilled subjects who are able to resists the effect of heat stress may be a more general attribute of personnel who operate under a variety of non-optimal environmental conditions.

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