Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Cusp Catastrophe Model (Performance)

The Cusp Catastrophe Model is a construct that we have looked at over the course of this semester, and has subsequently become an element of the course that I have been especially intrigued by. This construct attempts to explain the crux of performance and level of performance, defining the process as the interaction between cognitive and physiological arousal to suddenly change performance. An example of this process can be seen in almost any practice of cognitive and/or physical skill. For instance, taking a test and feeling that you are doing well can serve to enhance your performance on the medium, much like the process of taking a test and feeling like you are bombing can serve to continue your perceived floundering performance. One thing that I have taken from learning about this construct is to essentially tap into whatever feelings you are having and manipulate them to your advantage, as the increases in physiological arousal combined with heightened cognitive arousal can enhance your performance on a task (cusp). Whereas, feelings of mounting pressure and heightened arousal (anxiety) can shatter your performance (catastrophe) while you are attempting execute a task.

Furthermore, the construct of tonic immobility was another concept in this section that drew my attention, being that I am sure we have all had that dreaded dream of being in a helpless situation paralyzed by fear. Whether it be a kidnapping, robbing, or some other dire situation, my body always locks up and paralyzes me until the final second of doom and I wake up in a cold sweat. I feel like I have had that dream one too many times in my sleeping career, which has hopefully prepared my body to reverse the effects of tonic immobility if I were to ever find myself in such a situation in real life. In all, this module in the course has helped shed some light on performance, anxiety, and how to understand/override the pangs of performance anxiety if the behavior/symptoms were to ever occur within your psyche.

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