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Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To Paperback – August 9, 2011
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
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“Alluring and daunting” -- Wired.com
“Readable explanations for why we choke and valuable suggestions for what we can do to get through a make-or-break moment with a better chance of success.”
--Wall Street Journal
"If you aspire to be cool under maximum pressure (and who doesn't?), Beilock offers smart tips such as practicing under pressure and 'pausing the choke' by walking away from the problem for a few minutes in order to think clearly."
“. . . a must read for golfers.” – WorldGolf
“Choke is an important, fascinating book. Everyone who is looking for optimal performance would benefit from reading it and implementing its principles.”
—Daniel G. Amen, MD, Author of Change Your Brain, Change Your Body
“Do you want to hit better shots on the golf course? Score higher on the SAT? Get less nervous before speaking in public? In this marvelous book, Sian Beilock will tell you how, as she reveals the mental secrets to performing under pressure.”
--Jonah Lehrer, author of How We Decide and Proust Was a Neuroscientist
“A wonderful exploration of what happens inside when you choke on the outside. Essential for anyone who has, or plans, to compete, and especially for those who have choked.”
--Andrew Newberg, M.D., co-author of How God Changes Your Brain and Born to Believe
About the Author
Sian Beilock, a leading expert on the brain science behind human performance, is a professor in the psychology department at the University of Chicago. She has PhDs in both kinesiology and psychology from Michigan State University, and received an award for Transformative Early Career Contributions from the Association for Psychological Science in 2011.
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For example, it has extensive details on the background psychological studies that comprised the research,
including where the studies were, how many subjects were in the study, who the researchers were, etc.
I imagine the only people who care would be other psychology professionals.
I get the sense the author wanted to write a book to make money and pad the page count.
If you want to read a book to actually work on the underlying psychological causes,
I recommend: "Getting Over Stage Fright" by Esposito, Janet sold here at Amazon.
As a performing musician who, after many years, still would like to improve his consistency and quality of performance, I started this book expecting specific advice about how to deal with choking, i.e. how to counteract the tendency toward freaking out and not doing one's best when it most counts. Beilock does make a useful distinction early on between so-called "working memory," which seems to be conscious intellectual thought and analysis, and "thinking outside the box," which seems to be what most of us might call instinct or gut reaction. The upshot of her thesis boils down to this: under pressure people who rely heavily on working memory get into trouble because too much conscious thought can actually inhibit and disrupt performance rather than enhance it. While certainly true this is not exactly a new idea, and rather than develop it Beilock goes off for much of the book on tangents about high-stakes academic testing and self-reinforcing stereotypes, material that is certainly provocative and important but that seems less than central to the main topic. There is some sound advice about preparing by putting oneself in pressure situations in advance of the "main event," and of dealing with performance anxiety by writing about it and facing it head-on rather than denying or ignoring it. I also like the little checklists that summarize the main points of several chapters. Still, with regard to minimizing the chances of "choking" and improving one's overall performance in pressure situations, other books have covered the main topic as well or better, especially as applied to specific areas of endeavor such as musical or athletic performance.