Effects Of Time Constraints On Task Performance And Stress

2135 Words9 Pages
Rachel Reynolds
Jared Medina
Under Pressure: The Effects of Time Constraints on Task Performance and Stress

The reality for the population of American students is they cannot escape the inevitability of completing academic tasks under a time crunch. Even the most diligent students that complete classroom assignments well in advance of the due date are still subject to the pressure of standardized examinations that quite literally put academic performance under time constraints to the test. During these examinations, I always feel a pang of pressure whenever I look at the clock to see how much time I have left, immediately regretting my decision to look at the clock in the first place. For the longest time, I believed the quality of my output suffered due to this pressure, as I was more focused on how much time I had left to answer rather than the actual task at hand. Conversely, several of my peers would highlight how they thrived under this pressure. In my experience, this effect applies to non-academic tasks as well, such as games or puzzles that have visible countdown timers. From this experience, I wanted to know in what ways task performance is affected when the variable of time is presented in different ways and how resulting stress levels correlate to said performance. By examining the correlation between time constraints, stress levels, and task performance, specific conditions can be identified as “optimal” depending on the goal of the task,
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