The Effects of Practice and Speed Stress with Different Stimulus-Response Mappings
Stimulus-response (S-R) compatibility refers to better performance with compatible over incompatible S-R mappings. We investigated how a stressor in the form of a time constraint influences performance in choice-reaction tasks with S-R mappings that varied in degree of compatibility. A 600-ms response deadline did increase participants’ stress levels as indicated in subject workload reports. Furthermore, the time constraint decreased reaction time and increased error rate more for incompatible (mirror-opposite, mixed and random) mappings compared to compatible mappings. Participants who learned to respond with the incompatible mappings reverted to the more natural, corresponding responses when stressed. However, the effect of the time constraint was reduced when the incompatible mapping was systematic compared to when it was random. Thus, there are benefits of applying systematic rules when designing products for a user population.
KeywordsStimulus-response compatibility display-control compatibility stress practice effects
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