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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.

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

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Acting</span> Story telling by enacting a character

Acting is an activity in which a story is told by means of its enactment by an actor or actress who adopts a character—in theatre, television, film, radio, or any other medium that makes use of the mimetic mode.

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.

Goal setting involves the development of an action plan designed in order to motivate and guide a person or group toward a goal. Goals are more deliberate than desires and momentary intentions. Therefore, setting goals means that a person has committed thought, emotion, and behavior towards attaining the goal. In doing so, the goal setter has established a desired future state which differs from their current state thus creating a mismatch which in turn spurs future actions. Goal setting can be guided by goal-setting criteria such as SMART criteria. Goal setting is a major component of personal-development and management literature. Studies by Edwin A. Locke and his colleagues, most notably, have shown that more specific and ambitious goals lead to more performance improvement than easy or general goals. The goals should be specific, time constrained and difficult. Vague goals reduce limited attention resources. Unrealistically short time limits intensify the difficulty of the goal outside the intentional level and disproportionate time limits are not encouraging. Difficult goals should be set ideally at the 90th percentile of performance assuming that motivation and not ability is limiting attainment of that level of performance. As long as the person accepts the goal, has the ability to attain it, and does not have conflicting goals, there is a positive linear relationship between goal difficulty and task performance.

Metacognition is thought processes and an understanding of the patterns behind them. The term comes from the root word meta, meaning "beyond", or "on top of". Metacognition can take many forms, such as reflecting on one's ways of thinking and knowing when and how to use particular strategies for problem-solving. There are generally two components of metacognition: (1) knowledge about cognition and (2) regulation of cognition.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dunning–Kruger effect</span> Cognitive bias about ones own skill

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias whereby people with low ability, expertise, or experience regarding a certain type of a task or area of knowledge tend to overestimate their ability or knowledge. Some researchers also include in their definition the opposite effect for high performers: their tendency to underestimate their skills.

In psychology, self-efficacy is an individual's belief in their capacity to act in the ways necessary to reach specific goals. The concept was originally proposed by the psychologist Albert Bandura.

Self-monitoring, a concept introduced in the 1970s by Mark Snyder, describes the extent to which people monitor their self-presentations, expressive behavior, and nonverbal affective displays. Snyder held that human beings generally differ in substantial ways in their abilities and desires to engage in expressive controls. Self-monitoring 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).

Competence is the set of demonstrable characteristics and skills that enable and improve the efficiency or performance of a job. The term "competence" first appeared in an article authored by R.W. White in 1959 as a concept for performance motivation. In 1970, Craig C. Lundberg defined the concept in "Planning the Executive Development Program". The term gained traction when in 1973, David McClelland wrote a seminal paper entitled, "Testing for Competence Rather Than for Intelligence". The term was used by McClelland commissioned by the State Department, to extract characteristics common to high-performing agents of embassy, and to help them recruit and develop. It has since been popularized by Richard Boyatzis and many others, such as T.F. Gilbert (1978) who used the concept in relationship to performance improvement. Its use varies widely, which leads to considerable misunderstanding.

Social facilitation is a social phenomena in which being in the presence of others improves individual task performance. That is, people do better on tasks when they are with other people rather than when they are doing the task alone. Situations that elicit social facilitation include coaction, performing for an audience, and appears to depend on task complexity.

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.

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.

Contextual performance is defined as the activities that employees carry out to contribute to the social and psychological core of an organisation.

Situational Leadership Theory, or the Situational Leadership Model, is a model created by Paul Hersey and Ken Blanchard, developed while working on Management of Organizational Behavior. The theory was first introduced in 1969 as "life cycle theory of leadership". During the mid-1970s, life cycle theory of leadership was renamed "Situational Leadership Theory." Hersey and Blanchard's model is considered as part of the larger Situational and Contingency Theories of Leadership of which Fiedler's Contingency Model of Leadership Situation is also a part.

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

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sport psychology</span> Branch of psychology

Sport psychology was defined by the European Federation of Sport in 1996, as the study of the psychological basis, processes, and effects of sport. Otherwise, sport is considered as any physical activity where the individuals engage for competition and health. Sport psychology is recognized as 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.

Goal orientation, or achievement orientation, is an "individual disposition towards developing or validating one's ability in achievement settings". In general, an individual can be said to be mastery or performance oriented, based on whether one's goal is to develop one's ability or to demonstrate one's ability, respectively. A mastery orientation is also sometimes referred to as a learning orientation.

In the study of learning and memory, varied practice refers to the use of a training schedule that includes frequent changes of task so that the performer is constantly confronting novel instantiations of the to-be-learned information.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Music and emotion</span>

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 like a concert.

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.

Andranik Tangian Soviet-German polymath

Andranik Semovich Tangian (Melik-Tangyan) ; born March 29, 1952) is a Soviet-German mathematician, political economist and music theorist. Tangian is known for the mathematical theory of democracy, the Third Vote election method, criticism of flexicurity employment strategy and models of artificial perception of music. He is professor of the Institute for Economics (ECON) of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.


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