The inverted-U relationship between stress and performance: A field study

Mina Westman*, Dov Eden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


To investigate the shape of the relationship between stress resulting from excessive demand and performance, 306 officer cadets in the Israel Defence Forces completed stress questionnaires during their training. Stress was consistently negatively related to various measures of performance. The prediction derived from the inverted-U hypothesis, that those whose ability exceeded demand and those who felt that demands taxed their ability would perform worse than those whose ability matched their demands, was not supported. Until all the requisite conditions for testing the inverted-U hypothesis are met, the authors propose relegating it to the laboratory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-173
Number of pages9
JournalWork and Stress
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 1996


  • Inverted-U hypothesis
  • Performance


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