The trouble with friendly faces: skilled performance with a supportive audience.

@article{Butler1998TheTW,
  title={The trouble with friendly faces: skilled performance with a supportive audience.},
  author={Jennifer L. Butler and Roy F. Baumeister},
  journal={Journal of personality and social psychology},
  year={1998},
  volume={75 5},
  pages={1213-30}
}
In 3 experiments, supportive audiences were associated with unexpected performance decrements (i.e., "choking" under pressure). On a difficult, skill-based task, participants were more likely to fail when observed by supportive audiences than when observed by nonsupportive audiences. When the criterion for success was easy, supportive audiences had no effect. With a difficult criterion, supportive audiences elicited cautious, protective strategies that were associated with poor performance… CONTINUE READING

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