Investigating the Relationship between Stress, Workload, and Performance in Teleoperation Tasks
Sam, Yi Ting
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This thesis investigates the relationship between stress, workload, and performance in robot teleoperation tasks. The investigation is motivated by the need to provide support for astronauts in high stress and workload environments like space, without resorting to a degradation in performance. Prior work into the relationship between stress and performance has revealed conflicting results surrounding the Yerkes-Dodson law (YDL) which describes the stress-performance relationships for both simple and complex tasks. The YDL for complex tasks (inverted-U hypothesis) states that there exists an optimal level of stress where performance is maximized, and that any increase or decrease in stress would lead to a drop in performance. The YDL for simple tasks differs in that performance is said to increase as stress increases. We present both a preliminary pilot study and an ultimate final study with four research questions used to guide our analysis including: (1) Does the Yerkes-Dodson law (YDL) exist? (2) What causes the differences in performance trends? (3) What factors influence performance? (4) How does workload relate to stress? The results showed most of our participants appearing to follow the YDL for both simple and complex tasks, with the difference in performance trends stemming from a disparity in console experience (p=0.0366).