Thinking about Choking? Attentional Processes and Paradoxical Performance

@article{Lewis1997ThinkingAC,
  title={Thinking about Choking? Attentional Processes and Paradoxical Performance},
  author={Brian P. Lewis and Darwyn E. Linder},
  journal={Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin},
  year={1997},
  volume={23},
  pages={937 - 944}
}
  • B. P. Lewis, D. Linder
  • Published 1 September 1997
  • Psychology
  • Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
When pressure to perform is increased, individuals commonly perform worse than if there were no pressure ("choking under pressure'). Two mechanisms have been proposed to account for this effect-distraction (cognitive load), wherein pressure distracts attention from the task, and self focus, wherein attention shifts inward interfering with performance. To distinguish between these two competing explanations, the current experiment manipulated pressure by offering performance-contingent rewards… 

Choking under pressure: multiple routes to skill failure.

TLDR
The authors propose that aspects of the pressure situation itself can lead to distraction and/or explicit monitoring, differentially harming skills that rely more or less on working memory and attentional control.

A comparison of self-focus versus attentional explanations of choking.

TLDR
Attentional processes underlying skilled motor performance in threatening situations are examined, providing stronger support for the predictions of processing efficiency theory than self-focus theories of choking.

Attentional Processes and Choking under Pressure

TLDR
The findings suggest that attentional shifts during choking can be related to specific aspects of movement execution, which are important in conscious movement control before execution becomes automated through practice.

Is Choking under Pressure a Consequence of Skill-Focus or Increased Distractibility? Results from a Tennis Serve Task

It has been repeatedly demonstrated that athletes often choke in high pressure situations because anxiety can affect attention regulation and in turn performance. There are two competing

Choking under pressure: Illuminating the role of distraction and self-focus

ABSTRACT Two dominant explanations of choking under pressure – self-focus and distraction – have been enduringly presented as competing mechanisms of motor skill failure under performance stress.

Learning by Analogies: Implications for Performance and Attentional Processes Under Pressure

Purpose. According to the self-focus theory of choking under pressure, conscious control of automated processes leads to a disruption of movement execution and deterioration in performance. In this

Motivational influence on the attentional processes of competitive golfers

The main aim of this thesis was to gain a greater understanding of how a golfer’s attentional focus may be related to their achievement motivation and competence striving during competitive

Limiting motor skill knowledge via incidental training protects against choking under pressure

TLDR
It is shown that only participants who train and perform with premovement cues that allowed for preparatory movement planning choke under pressure due to large monetary incentives, and that this effect is independent of the level of skill attained.
...

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 43 REFERENCES

Choking under pressure: self-consciousness and paradoxical effects of incentives on skillful performance.

  • R. Baumeister
  • Psychology
    Journal of personality and social psychology
  • 1984
TLDR
A model for choking on coordination and skill tasks is proposed, holding that the pressure increases the conscious attention to the performer's own process of performance and that this increased conscious attention disrupts the automatic or overlearned nature of the execution.

A review of paradoxical performance effects: Choking under pressure in sports and mental tests

Paradoxical performance effects (‘choking under pressure’) are defined as the occurrence of inferior performance despite striving and incentives for superior performance. Experimental demonstrations

Test anxiety and direction of attention.

  • J. Wine
  • Psychology
    Psychological bulletin
  • 1971
TLDR
The literature reviewed suggests an attentional interpretation, of the adverse effects which test anxiety has on task performance, that highly anxious persons are generally more self-preoccupied than are people low in anxiety.

Effect of High and Low Motivation on Two Aspects of Attention

TLDR
The results of the present study point to the existence of two functionally independent processes: a span of attention process, concerned with the extent and breadth of attentional activity directed to stimuli which are relevant to a task; and a scanning process, related to the fixation and recall of specific cue stimuli relevant to the completion of a task.

Social facilitation: A self-presentational view.

This article offers a self-presentat ional account of performance in others' presence. The account attributes social facilitation to the performer's active regulation of a public image, and it

Worry and Emotionality as Components of Test Anxiety: Replication and Further Data

Two components of test anxiety, worry (W) or cognitive concern about performance and emotionality (E) or autonomic arousal to the test situation, were examined in relation to temporal changes,