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The Presence of Others

How an audience affects one's performance
by

Doug Maynard

on 5 April 2011

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Transcript of The Presence of Others

The Presence of Others How an audience affects our performance Sometimes it helps Sometimes it doesn't Travis (1925) - Pursuit Rotor Task Chen (1937) - Ants excavating earth Pessin (1933) Memorizing Nonsense Syllables Gates & Allee (1933) Cockroaches in a lit maze Bob Zajonc Saves the Day! (1965) Dominant response Performance tasks learning tasks Two kinds of tasks arousal The dominant response is high performance The dominant response is poor performance increases the dominant response Our default performance Increased Arousal Increased likelihood of dominant response So.... High performance for well-learned or innate tasks Low performance for not-yet-learned tasks Bob tests his theory... Simple maze Complex maze with more cockroaches... ...in bleachers?? Since this was a simple (performance) task, cockroaches performed better when in the presence of other cockroaches - the arousal led to an increase of the dominant response, which is high performance. Since this was a complex (learning) task, cockroaches performed WORSE when in the presence of other cockroaches - the arousal led to an increase of the dominant response, which is LOW performance.
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