TAIS/ACT Theory Summary

The Attentional and Interpersonal Style (TAIS) inventory measures those concentration skills and interpersonal characteristics which the Theory of Attentional and Interpersonal Style defines as critical predictors of performance across a wide variety of performance settings.

To perform up to their potential, individuals must control both concentration and emotional arousal.

Under optimal conditions concentration flows much like water in a river, passing through natural transition points where performance is subconsciously evaluated.

When performing at normal levels, there are frequent breaks in concentration because minor changes must be made in mental and/or physical processes to compensate for slight errors in judgment or execution (e.g., starting to swing at a pitch too soon). It is these subtle adjustments which keep individuals out of the "flow" state. To get into the flow state, both the frequency with which adjustments need to be made, and the length of time it takes to make adjustments, must be decreased.

Recovery time is the length of time it takes to make an adjustment to input from a transition point indicating something is wrong. Recovery time varies for two reasons:

In important performance situations, signals indicating things are not going according to plan, result in increases in arousal.

Recovery time is slowed down, and problems become compounded when the individual is unable to control emotional responses to transition feedback. The type of problem an individual will have, can be predicted by scores on the interpersonal scales on TAIS.

Individuals with low levels of self-confidence react to negative feedback by becoming anxious. Doubts increase as do negative thoughts. The person becomes tentative failing to respond (errors of omission), or responding late. Additional failures increase arousal even more and lead to the process referred to as "choking." This problem is most likely to occur with low scores on TAIS scales measuring need for control (CON), self-esteem (SES), competitiveness (P/O), and high a high score on the scale measuring speed of decision making (OBS).

Individuals with high levels of self-confidence react to negative feedback by becoming angry and frustrated. As attention narrows they spend more time focusing on irritants than on task relevant cues. Frustration and anger increase, slowing if not preventing recovery. A downward performance spiral occurs. The person begins to rush, becoming over aggressive and preoccupied with getting even or ventilating anger. This problem is most likely to occur with high scores on TAIS scales measuring behavior control (BCON), need for control (CON), self-esteem (SES), competitiveness (P/O), and expression of anger (NAE), and a low score on speed of decision making (SES).



| EPS Home | TAIS/ACT History | TAIS/ACT Certified Consultants | TAIS/ACT Related Products |
| Training Programs | EPS Articles |

Please direct correspondence to: EPSystems Canada