(Smart People Choke Under Pressure
People perceived as the most likely to succeed might also be the most likely to crumble under pressure.
A new study finds that individuals with high working-memory capacity, which normally allows them to excel, crack under pressure and do worse on simple exams than when allowed to work with no constraints. ...
"The pressure causes verbal worries, like ‘Oh no, I can’t screw up,’" said Sian Beilock, assistant professor of psychology at Miami University of Ohio. "These thoughts reside in the working memory." And that takes up space that would otherwise be pondering the task at hand.
"When they begin to worry, then they’re in trouble," Beilock told LiveScience. "People with lower working-memory capacities are not using that capacity to begin with, so they’re not affected by pressure."
The findings are detailed this week’s issue of Psychological Science.
By Bjorn Carey, LiveScience)