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The psychophysiological response to threat, accompanied by a sense of helplessness or fatigue. The downshifted individual experiences a sense of fear or anxiety, not the excitement of a challenge. Downshifting is everywhere in schools. (Poole, Carolyn. Maximizing Learning: A Conversation with Renate Nummela Caine. Educational Leadership, Vol 54, No 6 March 1997. Article.)

Definition: perceptual narrowing triggered when an individual perceives an experience as threatening. Is one aspect of negative stress, distress, which inhibits cognitive functioning. (Caine, Renate Nummela, and Geoffrey Caine. Making Connections: Teaching and the Human Brain. VA: ASCD, 1991, pp 63-67)