There is a common view in the stress literature that there exists a curvilinear relationship between positive stress (eustress) and negative stress (distress). This model does not imply that eustress is at one end of the scale and distress at the other, but rather the model has a bell-shaped curve. At one end of the curve, less challenging tasks with low work demands cause distress. The top of the curve is where moderate work demands of moderately challenging tasks cause maximal eustress. At the other end of the curve, distress is characterized by tasks that are too challenging and work demands too high. This model, called the Yerkes–Dodson law, is one of the oldest in the history of psychology, dating back to 1908.
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