n. a theory that explains the interaction between physiological arousal and cognitive anxiety. When cognitive anxiety is high, physiological arousal heightens along with it such that, up to a certain point (cusp), performance will increase. Past this cusp, performance will undergo a catastrophic drop, only to be optimized again when physiological arousal is significantly lowered.

CATASTROPHE CUSP THEORY: "The catastrophe cusp theory implies that performance would be difficult to sustain and would drastically decline when physiological arousal is too high and much too prolonged."
Cite this page: N., Pam M.S., "CATASTROPHE CUSP THEORY," in, April 7, 2013, (accessed September 16, 2021).