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The psychology of choking

September 21st, 2010

I interviewed University of Chicago psychologist Sian Beilock for this Globe and Mail article about “attentional focus” and athletic performance last year. She’s an exceptional researcher — her name comes up repeatedly when I’m interviewing other researchers, usually along the lines of “You should talk to Sian Beilock, she’s a genius and her research is fascinating.” She’s the one who did the study showing that expert golfers putt better when they’re distracted, while novices putt better when they focus — a finding that has been replicated in a wide variety of tasks.

I mention all this because Beilock’s new book, Choke: What the secrets of the brain reveal about getting it right when you have to, was released today. She’s widely considered the world’s foremost expert on choking — and, needless to say, her research has a lot to say about how not to choke. I’m looking forward to reading the book. And in the meantime, she’s also blogging on the topic for Psychology Today.

  1. John Lofranco
    September 25th, 2010 at 22:29 | #1

    Wow. That blog is a gold mine. Thanks for this!

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