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Infrastructure Resilience Conference 2018

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Human Cognitive Resilience amid Negative Performance Shock

Many stressful events such as intense competition inside schools and corporations, natural disasters, and disruptions of transportation or electricity are widely observed in modern society. When the crisis happens, the bad news may influence people’s psychological state or motivation, hence change their future working performance, and challenge the resilience of human performance.

In this study, we investigate the psychological and behavioral consequences of the bad news on a performance shock with controlled lab experiments. In the experiment, the participants attend several calculation tasks and receive payments contingent on their performance. We generate the negative shock on the participants’ performance by randomly reducing their scores in the tasks with half chance. Later we control the transparency of the information of whether the participant has got the score reduction or not, and compare their belief, stress level, and performance in these tasks. We find that male and female people have different beliefs on their performance, and respond differently to the information on the negative shock. This suggests that male and female handle stress and motivation in a different way, hence lead to different working performance under negative shock.

These gender differences are useful for us to design better information revelation policy and affirmative action to promote the resilience of human performance in stressful situations. In future study, we will study the effects of intervention methods to increase people’s performance in stressful situations, such as mindfulness training.

Yunfeng Lu
Nanyang Technological University
Singapore

Eko Riyanto
Nanyang Technological University
Singapore

Georgios Christopoulos
Nanyang Technological University
Singapore

Walter Theseira
Singapore University of Social Sciences
Singapore

 

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