Training for Task Performance Under Stress: The Effectiveness of Phased Training Methods

Giora Keinan, Nehemia Friedland, Vardi Sarig‐Naor

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Studies on the training of individuals for task performance in stressful situations have typically considered two approaches. One approach requires that, while training on the task, trainees be exposed to stressors of a kind and intensity characteristic of the situations for which they are being trained (“high fidelity” training). Such an approach might suffer from the interference of stressors with task acquisition. Another approach allows the trainee to train on the task in a stress‐free environment or under low‐intensity stressors (“low fidelity” training). This approach leaves the trainee insufficiently prepared for task performance under stress. The present study compared these two basic approaches to three forms of “phased” training, which consisted of different combinations of three separate and distinct training phases: a phase which allows the trainee to acquire the task under stress‐ free conditions; a phase which allows him or her to passively experience the stressor; and a phase in which newly acquired skills are practiced under stress. The results showed that a phased training process which combines the first and third phases just described, is more effective than either “high fidelity” training or “low fidelity” training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1514-1529
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number18
StatePublished - Oct 1990


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