- The modality in which the information is presented differentially influences behavioral response, especially when tasks are either learned or subsequently performed in stressful circumstances. The current work examines the effects of cross modality of warning presentation and retention in a dual task paradigm in a simulated environment with various task-induced stress levels. Consistent with the Hancock and Warm model of stress and attention, it was found that when task demand is relatively low, the modality of presentation is of less importance and participants are able to comply. When task demand is relatively high, the modality of presentation was critical and played a significant role in compliance behavior. Additionally, it was found that participants were significantly less likely to comply in the verbal modality across all levels of working memory demand than in either the pictorial or written modalities.