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The effects of experimentally induced pressure pain on the performance of a weight lifting task, a simple golf putting task, and a complex golf putting task were examined in male college students. It was found that pain did not affect performance of the weight lifting task, slightly hampered performance of the simple putting task, and severely hampered performance of the complex putting task. Because the adverse effects of pain increased with task complexity, the findings are consistent with the notion mat pain is a form of arousal and mat pain affects performance in a manner similar to arousal. Limitations of the present experiments and directions for future research are discussed.
Request reprints from D.E. Linder, Dept. of Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287. B.W. Brewer is now with the Ctr. for Counseling & Student Development at the University of Delaware. J.L. Van Raalte is now with the Dept. of Psychology at Springfield College, Springfield, MA.