Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Arousal is a physiological and psychological state involving the activation of the reticular activating system in the brain stem, the autonomic nervous system and the endocrine system, leading to increased heart rate and blood pressure and a condition of alertness and readiness to respond.
It is a crucial process in motivating certain behaviours, such as the fight or flight response and sexual activity (see Masters and Johnson's human sexual response cycle, where it is known as the arousal phase).
The Yerkes-Dodson law is an empirical law which states a relationship between arousal and task performance, essentially arguing that there is an optimal level of arousal for performance, and too little or too much arousal can adversely affect task performance.
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