Social "facilitation" as challenge and threat

J Pers Soc Psychol. 1999 Jul;77(1):68-77. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.77.1.68.

Abstract

The authors conducted an experiment to test a theoretical explanation of social facilitation based on the biopsychosocial model of challenge and threat. Participants mastered 1 of 2 tasks and subsequently performed either the mastered (i.e., well-learned) or the unlearned task either alone or with an audience while cardiovascular responses were recorded. Cardiovascular responses of participants performing a well-learned task in the presence of others fit the challenge pattern (i.e., increased cardiac response and decreased vascular resistance), whereas cardiovascular responses of participants performing an unlearned task in the presence of others fit the threat pattern (i.e., increased cardiac response and increased vascular resistance), confirming the authors' hypotheses and the applicability of the biopsychosocial model of challenge and threat to explain these results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Random Allocation
  • Social Facilitation*
  • Social Perception*