Social impairment occurs when an individual acts in a less positive way or performs worse when they are around others. Imagine doing a crossword puzzle by yourself and then imagine doing it on a screen in front of an entire classroom. You would most likely perform the puzzle faster and more accurately when alone. Early animal research showed that birds took longer to solve a maze when they were under social conditions as opposed to when they were alone. The research of Zajonc showed that social conditions raise arousal levels in individuals. Arousal can improve performance on simple well-rehearsed tasks but hinders more complex thinking and behaviors.