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A stage performance of Don Quixote at the Teresa Carreno Cultural Complex in Venezuela (2013) Don Quijote de La Mancha, Teresa Carreno Teather.jpg
A stage performance of Don Quixote at the Teresa Carreño Cultural Complex in Venezuela (2013)

A performance is an act of staging or presenting a play, concert, or other form of entertainment. It is also defined as the action or process of carrying out or accomplishing an action, task, or function. [1]


Management science

In the work place, job performance is the hypothesized conception or requirements of a role. There are two types of job performances: contextual and task. Task performance is dependent on cognitive ability, while contextual performance is dependent on personality. [2] Task performance relates to behavioral roles that are recognized in job descriptions and remuneration systems. They are directly related to organizational performance, whereas contextual performances are value-based and add additional behavioral roles that are not recognized in job descriptions and covered by compensation; these are extra roles that are indirectly related to organizational performance. [3] Citizenship performance, like contextual performance, relates to a set of individual activity/contribution (prosocial organizational behavior) that supports organizational culture. [4] [5]


Tang dynasty horseback musicians Gansu Museum 2007 309.jpg
Tang dynasty horseback musicians

In performing arts, a performance generally comprises an event in which a performer, or group of performers, present one or more works of art to an audience. In instrumental music and drama, a performance is typically described as a "play". [6] Typically, the performers participate in rehearsals beforehand to practice the work.

An effective performance is determined by the achieved skills and competency of the performer, also known as the level of skill and knowledge. In 1994, Spencer and McClelland defined competency as "a combination of motives, traits, self-concepts, attitudes, cognitive behavior skills (content knowledge) that helps a performer to differentiate themselves as superior from the average performer". [7] A performance also describes the way in which an actor performs. In a solo capacity, it may also refer to a mime artist, comedian, conjurer, magician, or other entertainer.

Aspects of Performance Art

Another aspect of performance that grew in popularity in the early 20th century is Performance art. The origins of Performance art started with Dada and Russian constructivism groups, focusing on avant-garde poetry readings and live paintings meant to be viewed by an audience. It can be scripted or completely improvised and includes audience participation if desired. [8]

The emergence of Abstract expressionism in the 1950s with Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning gave way to Action painting, a technique that emphasized the dynamic movements of artists as they splattered paint and other media on canvas or glass. For these artists, the motion of putting paint on canvas was just as valuable as the finished painting, and so it was common for artists to document their work in film; such as the short film Jackson Pollock 51(1951), featuring Pollock dripping paint onto a massive canvas on his studio floor. [9] Situationists in France, led by Guy Debord, married avant-garde art with revolutionary politics to incite everyday acts of anarchy. The "Naked City Map" (1957) fragments the 19 sections of Paris, featuring the technique of Détournement and abstraction of the traditional environment, deconstructing the geometry and order of a typical city map. [10]

At the New School for Social Research in New York, John Cage and Allan Kaprow became involved in developing Happening performance art. These carefully scripted one-off events incorporated the audience into acts of chaos and spontaneity. These happenings challenged traditional art conventions and encouraged artists to carefully consider the role of an audience. [11] In Japan, the 1954 Gutai group led by Yoshihara Jiro, Kanayma Akira, Murakami Saburo, Kazuo Shiraga, and Shimamoto Shozo made the materials of art-making come to life with body movement and blurring the line between art and theater. Kazuo Shiraga's Challenging Mud (1955) is a performance of the artist rolling and moving in mud, using their body as the art-making tool, and emphasizing the temporary nature of performance art.

Carolee Schneemann performing Interior Scroll 1975 Schneemann-Interior Scroll.gif
Carolee Schneemann performing Interior Scroll 1975

Valie Export, an Austrian artist born Waltraud Lehner, performed "Tap and Touch Cinema" in 1968. She walked around the streets in Vienna during a film festival wearing a styrofoam box with a curtain over her chest. Bystanders were asked to put their hands inside the box and touch her bare chest. This commentary on women sexualization in film focused on the sense of touch rather than sight. [12] Adrian Piper and her performance Catalysis III (1970) featured the artist walking down New York City streets with her outfit painted white and a sign across her chest that said "wet paint." She was interested in the invisible social and racial dynamics in America and was determined to encourage civic-mindedness and interruption of the system. [13] [14] Carolee Schneemann, American artist, performed Interior Scroll in 1975, where she unrolls Super-8 film "Kitsch's Last Meal" from her genitals. This nude performance contributes to a discourse on femininity, sexualization, and film.

Performance state

English rock band Deep Purple performing in Hoyos del Espino, Spain (2013) Deep Purple - MN Gredos - 01.jpg
English rock band Deep Purple performing in Hoyos del Espino, Spain (2013)

Williams and Krane define the characteristics of an ideal performance state: [15]

Other related factors are: motivation to achieve success or avoid failure, task relevant attention, positive self-talk, and cognitive regulation to achieve automaticity. Performance is also dependent on adaptation of eight areas: Handling crisis, managing stress, creative problem solving, knowing necessary functional tools and skills, agile management of complex processes, interpersonal adaptability, cultural adaptability, and physical fitness. [16] Performance is not always a result of practice, but rather about honing in a skill. Over practicing itself can result in failure due to ego depletion. [17]

According to Andranik Tangian, the best results are achieved when spontaneity and even improvisation are backed up by rational elements that arrange means of expression in a certain structure, supporting the communication (not just verbal) with the audience. [18] [19]

Stage fright

Kristin Chenoweth performs the national anthem of the United States at a baseball game Kristin Chenoweth singing National Anthem at Yankee Stadium.jpg
Kristin Chenoweth performs the national anthem of the United States at a baseball game

Theatrical performances, especially when the audience is limited to only a few observers, can lead to significant increases in the performer's heart rate. This increase takes place in several stages relative to the performance itself, including anticipatory activation (one minute before the start of subject's speaking role), confrontation activation (during the subject's speaking role, at which point their heart rate peaks) and release period (one minute after the conclusion of the subject's speech). [20] The same physiological reactions can be experienced in other mediums such as instrumental performance. When experiments were conducted to determine whether there was a correlation between audience size and heart rate (an indicator of anxiety) of instrumental performers, the researcher's findings ran contrary to previous studies, showing a positive correlation rather than a negative one. [21]

Heart rate shares a strong, positive correlation with the self reported anxiety of performers. [22] Other physiological responses to public performance include perspiration, secretion of the adrenal glands, and increased blood pressure. [23]

See also

Related Research Articles

Observational learning is learning that occurs through observing the behavior of others. It is a form of social learning which takes various forms, based on various processes. In humans, this form of learning seems to not need reinforcement to occur, but instead, requires a social model such as a parent, sibling, friend, or teacher with surroundings. Particularly in childhood, a model is someone of authority or higher status in an environment. In animals, observational learning is often based on classical conditioning, in which an instinctive behavior is elicited by observing the behavior of another, but other processes may be involved as well.

Procrastination Avoidance of doing a task that needs to be accomplished by a certain deadline

Procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing something. The word has origin from the Latin procrastinatus, which itself evolved from the prefix pro-, meaning "forward," and crastinus, meaning "of tomorrow." It could be further stated as a habitual or intentional delay of starting or finishing a task despite knowing it might have negative consequences. It is a common human experience involving delay in everyday chores or even putting off salient tasks such as attending an appointment, submitting a job report or academic assignment, or broaching a stressful issue with a partner. Although typically perceived as a negative trait due to its hindering effect on one's productivity often associated with depression, low self-esteem, guilt and inadequacy, it can also be considered a wise response to certain demands that could present risky or negative outcomes or require waiting for new information to arrive.

A motor skill is a learned ability to cause a predetermined movement outcome with maximum certainty. Motor learning is the relatively permanent change in the ability to perform a skill as a result of practice or experience. Performance is an act of executing a motor skill. The goal of motor skill is to optimize the ability to perform the skill at the rate of success, precision, and to reduce the energy consumption required for performance. Continuous practice of a specific motor skill will result in a greatly improved performance.

Motivation is a driving factor for actions, willingness, and goals. Motivation is derived from the word motive, or a need that requires satisfaction. These needs, wants or desires may be acquired through influence of culture, society, lifestyle, or may be generally innate. An individual's motivation may be inspired by outside forces or by themselves. The difference between intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation depends on the actions behind it. Intrinsic motivation has to do with having an internal desire to perform a task and extrinsic motivation has to do with performing a task in order to receive some kind of reward. According to research, intrinsic motivation has more beneficial outcomes than extrinsic motivation. Motivation has been considered one of the most important reasons to move forward. Motivation results from the interaction of both conscious and unconscious factors. Mastering motivation to allow sustained and deliberate practice is central to high levels of achievement, e.g. in elite sport, medicine, or music. Motivation governs choices among alternative forms of voluntary activity.

Motor learning refers broadly to changes in an organism's movements that reflect changes in the structure and function of the nervous system. Motor learning occurs over varying timescales and degrees of complexity: humans learn to walk or talk over the course of years, but continue to adjust to changes in height, weight, strength etc. over their lifetimes. Motor learning enables animals to gain new skills, and improves the smoothness and accuracy of movements, in some cases by calibrating simple movements like reflexes. Motor learning research often considers variables that contribute to motor program formation, sensitivity of error-detection processes, and strength of movement schemas. Motor learning is "relatively permanent", as the capability to respond appropriately is acquired and retained. Temporary gains in performance during practice or in response to some perturbation are often termed motor adaptation, a transient form of learning. Neuroscience research on motor learning is concerned with which parts of the brain and spinal cord represent movements and motor programs and how the nervous system processes feedback to change the connectivity and synaptic strengths. At the behavioral level, research focuses on the design and effect of the main components driving motor learning, i.e. the structure of practice and the feedback. The timing and organization of practice can influence information retention, e.g. how tasks can be subdivided and practiced, and the precise form of feedback can influence preparation, anticipation, and guidance of movement.

Metacognition is "cognition about cognition", "thinking about thinking", "knowing about knowing", becoming "aware of one's awareness" and higher-order thinking skills. The term comes from the root word meta, meaning "beyond", or "on top of". Metacognition can take many forms; it includes knowledge about when and how to use particular strategies for learning or problem-solving. There are generally two components of metacognition: (1) knowledge about cognition and (2) regulation of cognition.

Self-efficacy is, according to psychologist Albert Bandura who originally proposed the concept, a personal judgment of how well or poorly a person is able to cope with a given situation based on the skills they have and the circumstances they face.

Self-regulated learning (SRL) is one of the domains of self-regulation, and is aligned most closely with educational aims. Broadly speaking, it refers to learning that is guided by metacognition, strategic action, and motivation to learn. A self-regulated learner "monitors, directs, and regulates actions toward goals of information acquisition, expanding expertise, and self-improvement”. In particular, self-regulated learners are cognizant of their academic strengths and weaknesses, and they have a repertoire of strategies they appropriately apply to tackle the day-to-day challenges of academic tasks. These learners hold incremental beliefs about intelligence and attribute their successes or failures to factors within their control.

Self-monitoring is a concept introduced during the 1970s by Mark Snyder, that shows how much people monitor their self-presentations, expressive behavior, and nonverbal affective displays. Human beings generally differ in substantial ways in their abilities and desires to engage in expressive controls. It is defined as a personality trait that refers to an ability to regulate behavior to accommodate social situations. People concerned with their expressive self-presentation tend to closely monitor their audience in order to ensure appropriate or desired public appearances. Self-monitors try to understand how individuals and groups will perceive their actions. Some personality types commonly act spontaneously and others are more apt to purposely control and consciously adjust their behavior. Recent studies suggest that a distinction should be made between acquisitive and protective self-monitoring due to their different interactions with metatraits. This differentiates the motive behind self-monitoring behaviours: for the purpose of acquiring appraisal from others (acquisitive) or protecting oneself from social disapproval (protective).

Social facilitation is defined as improvement or decrease in individual performance when working with other people rather than alone.

Test anxiety is a combination of physiological over-arousal, tension and somatic symptoms, along with worry, dread, fear of failure, and catastrophizing, that occur before or during test situations. It is a physiological condition in which people experience extreme stress, anxiety, and discomfort during and/or before taking a test. This anxiety creates significant barriers to learning and performance. Research suggests that high levels of emotional distress have a direct correlation to reduced academic performance and higher overall student drop-out rates. Test anxiety can have broader consequences, negatively affecting a student's social, emotional and behavioural development, as well as their feelings about themselves and school.

In the field of social psychology, illusory superiority is a condition of cognitive bias wherein a person overestimates their own qualities and abilities, in relation to the same qualities and abilities of other people. Illusory superiority is one of many positive illusions, relating to the self, that are evident in the study of intelligence, the effective performance of tasks and tests, and the possession of desirable personal characteristics and personality traits.

Job performance assesses whether a person performs a job well. Job performance, studied academically as part of industrial and organizational psychology, also forms a part of human resources management. Performance is an important criterion for organizational outcomes and success. John P. Campbell describes job performance as an individual-level variable, or something a single person does. This differentiates it from more encompassing constructs such as organizational performance or national performance, which are higher-level variables.

In recent years, contextual performance has emerged as an important aspect of overall job performance. Job performance is no longer considered to consist strictly of performance on a task. Rather, with an increasingly competitive job market, employees are expected to go above and beyond the requirements listed in their job descriptions. Contextual performance, which is defined as activities that contribute to the social and psychological core of the organization, is beginning to be viewed as equally important to task performance. Examples of contextual performance include volunteering for additional work, following organizational rules and procedures even when personally inconvenient, assisting and cooperating with coworkers, and various other discretionary behaviors. By strengthening the viability of social networks, these activities are posited to enhance the psychological climate in which the technical core is nested.

In psychology and neuroscience, executive dysfunction, or executive function deficit, is a disruption to the efficacy of the executive functions, which is a group of cognitive processes that regulate, control, and manage other cognitive processes. Executive dysfunction can refer to both neurocognitive deficits and behavioural symptoms. It is implicated in numerous psychopathologies and mental disorders, as well as short-term and long-term changes in non-clinical executive control.

Procedural memory is a type of implicit memory which aids the performance of particular types of tasks without conscious awareness of these previous experiences.

Sport psychology is an interdisciplinary science that draws on knowledge from many related fields including biomechanics, physiology, kinesiology and psychology. It involves the study of how psychological factors affect performance and how participation in sport and exercise affect psychological and physical factors. Sport psychologists teach cognitive and behavioral strategies to athletes in order to improve their experience and performance in sports. In addition to instruction and training of psychological skills for performance improvement, applied sport psychology may include work with athletes, coaches, and parents regarding injury, rehabilitation, communication, team building, and career transitions. Also closely associated with Sports psychiatry.

Music and emotion

Research into music and emotion seeks to understand the psychological relationship between human affect and music. The field, a branch of music psychology, covers numerous areas of study, including the nature of emotional reactions to music, how characteristics of the listener may determine which emotions are felt, and which components of a musical composition or performance may elicit certain reactions. The research draws upon, and has significant implications for, such areas as philosophy, musicology, music therapy, music theory and aesthetics, as well as the acts of musical composition and of musical performance.

Adaptive performance in the work environment refers to adjusting to and understanding change in the workplace. An employee who is versatile is valued and important in the success of an organization. Employers seek employees with high adaptability, due to the positive outcomes that follow, such as excellent work performance, work attitude, and ability to handle stress. Employees, who display high adaptive performance in an organization, tend to have more advantages in career opportunities unlike employees who are not adaptable to change. In previous literature, Pulakos and colleagues established eight dimensions of adaptive performance.

Narcissism in the workplace can become an issue that may have a major impact on an entire organization. Often beginning with manipulation during the interview process, to engaging in counterproductive work behavior. Narcissism is both a personality trait and a personality disorder, generally assessed with the Narcissistic Personality Inventory. Owing to these differences from typical workplace behaviors, Psychologists have studied the interview strategies of narcissists, their impact on coworkers, correlated behaviors, motivations, and preferences. Following these investigations, many have offered insight into the best practices when working with a narcissist, and perhaps some amount of benefit stemming from some of their behaviors.


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