July 28, 2016 12:50 - 14:20

Stress, fatigue, negative affect and learning: Evidence of fast-cycle adaptation

[Speaker] Van Tonder, Christian L:1,2
[Co-author] Henn, Carolina:2
1:Curtin University (Australia), 2:University of Johannesburg (South Africa(Republic of South Africa))

Advanced Psychology training is recognized for the significant challenges it poses. Highly selected Masters IO Psychology students of consecutive year-groups consistently reported intense stress and negative affect, yet also reported significant learning and growth, and confidence on completion of the course. The first week of the Masters IO Psychology Program constitutes a microcosm of,and simulates the character and demands of the intense year-long program. Students are rapidly introduced to (altered) notions of learning, workload and achievement. This study investigated the observed similarity in affective states and energy levels reported by three student cohorts (2013 - 2015), who were exposed to the same program and content. Results reveal discernible patterns in students' affective experiences and energy levels across a four-day period and across the different cohorts. Findings and implications are contextualized in terms of fast-cycle 'personal transition' and general adaptation (Selye),student/learner profile, learning orientation and program design and learning context.
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